Doctors call for stricter environmental monitoring

The request by lobby group Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) follows the release of a report compiled by the organisation outlining various cases in which they claim inadequate consideration and monitoring of pollution issues have resulted in significant health risks to nearby communities.

The report, The Health Factor: Ignored by Industry, Overlooked by Government, calls for the establishment of an agency similar to the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. The body would be charged with oversight of states’ environmental and health impact assessments for resource and other industry projects.

DEA spokesman Dr David Shearman said that in many cases the social and financial costs of related pollution were not being measured or factored in when mining projects were granted government approval.

“It is clear that state government approvals of coal and coal seam gas projects are often influenced by potential economic gain