At what time does silence become neglect?

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The plan to put together a Health Impact Assessment for the Gunnedah Basin is gaining momentum with a number of critical pieces beginning to fall into place.

One of these is the  Gunnedah Health Forum on August 4 at the Gunnedah Town Hall/Civic Theatre complex.  The program of speakers has been finalised. Media Release 25.7.2012.

These health issues are being shared all along the coal supply chain as rural towns push to have coal train wagons covered, workers at the Newcastle port seek proper health coverage and communities near the port seek to put in place air quality monitoring.

The Gunnedah Mayor has long argued the case for baseline air quality monitoring in the Gunnedah Basin prior to large scale open cut coal mining. Even the Department of Planning has sought to include this condition in project consents, however the Planning and Health Ministers are silent on this issue.

Why are they silent? What is it that they don’t understand about the health impacts of the coal industry, and at what time does silence become neglect?