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Analysis and Comment (13)

Despite firefighters' efforts, the Hazelwood mine fire showered the nearby town of Morwell with pollution. AAP Image/Country Fire Authority

Dirty air, dodgy politics: why it’s easier to attack science than listen to Morwell fire death stats

I’m quite nervous about writing this. I’m going to stray from my familiar academic world into a political one, and it’s on an issue that may very well have killed several people. My reputation has already…
The blaze was eventually extinguished 45 days after it was sparked by a grassfire. Country Fire Authority/AAP

The Hazelwood mine disaster could easily have been avoided

The Hazelwood coalmine fire, which burned for 45 days earlier this year, was a catastrophe for the town of Morwell in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. Homes were blanketed in smoke and ash, many residents were…
Under federal law, coal seam gas projects must be approved by the environment minister if they could have a significant impact on water. Jeremy Buckingham/Flickr

Coalition’s environmental one-stop shop is falling apart

The Palmer United Party (PUP) has added to the Coalition’s headaches in the Senate by announcing this week it would seek to remove the so-called “water trigger” from the government’s “one-stop shop” for…
The Saraji coal mine in the Bowen coal basin produces around 5 million tonnes of coal each year. Adani’s Carmichael mine could produce up to 60 million. Image Library/Flickr

Carmichael mine is a game-changer for Australian coal

The Carmichael coal project, approved this week by environment minister Greg Hunt, is unprecedented in its scale, and also represents a significant shift in Australia’s coal industry. If the mine goes…
The Mount Thorley Warkworth mine in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales produces coal for both electricity and steel-making. Lock the Gate Alliance/Flickr

Australia’s coal industry needs to prepare for global climate action

At the recent midyear UN climate negotiations in Bonn, an unprecedented 60 countries (including Germany) called for a total phase-out of fossil fuels by 2050, as part of a global agreement on climate change…
Queensland’s groundwater is vital to the continued success of its agriculture. Brian Yap

Coal’s damage is cumulative: let’s assess it that way

Mine operators have proposed nine major new coal mines for the Galilee Basin in central Queensland. Those proposals currently being assessed by the Queensland government could significantly impact water…
Incidents of major agricultural run-off, like the recent Queensland floods, certainly affect Great Barrier Reef water quality, but systems are in place to reduce their effect. AAP Image/Twitter, ISS, Chris Hadfield

Worried about Great Barrier Reef water pollution? Look at mining, not agriculture

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is both a national marine park and a World Heritage Area. But next to the reef, a catchment of 400,000km2 is almost completely developed for agriculture, predominantly beef…
Governments don’t seem to take seriously the health effects of coal mining. Ian Sanderson

Moylan’s anti-coal message is an international one

Anti-coal protester Jonathan Moylan has said the main reason for his ANZ sharemarket hoax was his concern about the health impacts of coal mining at Maules Creek. He stressed the impact of the mine on…
Coal mining in NSW’s Hunter region co-exists with wine growing, racehorse breeding, dairy and other pastoral industries. Jo Schmaltz

Coal industry thriving, but at what social and health cost?

If you believe industry propaganda, coal mining is a panacea not only for economic ills but also for smoothing troubled social waters. But a lack of local evidence about the health impact of the coal industry…