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Newcastle Port Strategy an opportunity to rethink coal dependence

Today’s release of the draft Newcastle Port strategy is an opportunity for people in the Hunter to urge a shift away from coal dependence and the Greens will be encouraging community members to put in submissions, said Greens Senator and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon and Greens Newcastle Councillor Michael Osborne.                       

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Motion: Lynas

Australian mining company Lynas may be looking for new countries to export refinery by-products after being embroiled in lengthy environmental disputes in Malaysia.

ABC Network News reports, including interview with Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

Senator Rhiannon also moved a motion in the Senate with Senator Scott Ludlam.

Senators Rhiannon and Ludlam: To move-

That the Senate-

(a) notes:

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Labor and Coalition join to block Hunter coal health inquiry

Despite noises of concern from federal MPs in the Hunter about the adverse health impacts of polluting coal dust, Labor and the Coalition joined forces in the Senate today to vote down a motion to establish a Senate Inquiry into the health impacts of coal mining, coal transport and coal export in the Hunter.

"Hunter residents will be disappointed that today in the Senate, Labor voted against setting up an inquiry into health impacts of coal dust on Hunter residents," said Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

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Greens push on in Hunter’s Sick of Coal campaign

Cathy Burgess, long time Hunter Valley resident and local nurse, summed up the growing sentiment in this coal impacted region: “How bad does Hunter’s air pollution need to be before the government will act?”

I was with Cathy and about 150 locals packed into a community meeting in Newcastle last Thursday to hear the NSW Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, attempt to justify the unjustifiable – giving the go ahead to the proposed fourth coal terminal.

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Senator in Hunter, Newcastle for big push on Inquiry on health impact of coal dust


Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon will be campaigning on the ground in the Hunter today urging local Federal MPs to put their support behind a Senate inquiry into the impact of the coal mining, coal rail infrastructure and coal export industry on air quality and public health. A Greens motion to establish this Inquiry is due to be voted on in the Senate on 21 November 2012.

Senator Rhiannon will visit Maitland and Newcastle, meeting with concerned locals and urging residents to contact their federal MPs to support the Inquiry.

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