MCCC to kick off Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

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The MCCC in conjunction with other groups in the Gunnedah Basin are working toward a regional  HIA  to properly assess the health impacts to the community of coal and coal seem gas.

A HIA has at its starting point that for any project to be approved it  should add to community health outcomes.

The MCCC has independent gap analysis between the EP&A Act and the Environmental Assessments for both the Boggabri Coal and Maules Creek projects that  shows the need for a HIA.

In our submissions we identified the absence of a HIA as a major shortfall and highlighted the need to the “Planning” Department and Planning “Assessments” Commission to establish baseline health for the region as a matter of urgency.

To date we have not heard anything in this regard. Other than approve a mega coal mine complex, Planning is failing to plan and the Assessments Commission is failing to assess.

As such we will initiate our own HIA for the Gunnedah Basin and are partnering with another organisation that has “community led” HIA methodologies. As a courtesy, we are writing to the Planning Minister to inform him of our decision and are looking forward to his positive response.

Further discussions are ongoing, however this will become a focus as the State Government planning process grinds to its inevitable conclusion. Watch this space.