Coal health burden hits $600m: report

The Climate and Health Alliance’s report, Coal and Health in the Hunter: Lessons from One Valley for the World, argues on health grounds alone that NSW should stop issuing new mining licences in its top coal-producing region so reliance on the industry can peak and dwindle away.

Peter Sainsbury, an associate professor at Sydney University’s School of Public Health, said the selling point of the resource – as a cheap source of energy – hinged on the fact that health impacts were not factored into the price.

“Here’s a global problem – the mining, burning and transport of coal – but [the report] is an attempt to localise these global, big-picture issues in a particular location for particular communities,” Professor Sainsbury told MO.

“No doubt, coal has served us well for the past 200 years, and it is cheap, in a sense, because it gets lots of subsidies from the government