Health workers expressed concern today about potential health impacts of the Victorian Government and AGL's agreement allowing for Loy Yang A to remain open until 2035.
"Every year Loy Yang A stays open it kills dozens of people by producing toxic air pollution," said Dr Harry Jennens, GP and Co-ordinator of health advocacy organisation Healthy Futures. "Coal pollution causes heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cancers, asthma exacerbations and affects the growth of babies in the womb. It also contributes to dangerous climate change, but even considering the toxic air pollution alone, replacing Loy Yang A with renewable energy by 2030 instead of 2035 would save hundreds of lives."
Since 2021, twenty-five health organisations and nearly 1,000 Australian healthcare workers and students have signed an open letter to AGL calling on them to replace coal with renewable energy by 2030 to save lives. The letter details the health threats of toxic air pollution and climate change and can be viewed at https://www.healthyfutures.net.au/agl
Dr Benjamin Lewis, a GP anaesthetist in Gippsland, said: “Gippslanders are disproportionately affected by toxic air pollution from the coal power stations, and are also vulnerable to bushfires and other health impacts of climate change. Today’s transition announcement is better than no plan at all, but we can and should save more lives by replacing coal with renewable energy by 2030 at the latest, which is why I’m supporting the Transform Renewable Energy Jobs Expo in Traralgon in October.”
"We urge the Victorian government and AGL to collaborate to ensure a full transition to renewable energy by 2030 that protects people’s health from toxic air pollution and dangerous climate change," said Dr Jennens.
Healthy Futures is an organisation of healthcare workers and community members advocating to limit the health impacts of pollution and climate change. More info at www.healthyfutures.net.au
Dr Harry Jennens, GP and Co-ordinator of Healthy Futures: 0417418225
Dr Benjamin Lewis, GP anaesthetist in Gippsland: 0416150993