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Environment, General News

Health professionals join coal port blockade

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) and Health on the Frontline (HOFL) 2 mins read

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) and Health on the Frontline (HOFL)

24 Nov 2023

Health professionals will join climate activists this weekend at the People’s Blockade of Newcastle coal port. They will spend 30 hours in canoes on the water, blocking shore access to all coal-carrying ships to the world’s largest coal port.

“Coal is dangerous for human health” said Public Health Professor, Dr Linda Selvey. “Burning fossil fuels is driving climate change and climate change is a health emergency. We need to respond as we would in any emergency, and we are not.”

The group will include public health and medical specialists, general practitioners, surgeons, nurses and allied health professionals, from around the country.

“Coal combustion is a source of dangerous air pollution that kills millions of people prematurely each year. Air pollution causes heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks and lung disease. This is an enormous public health issue.” - Dr Sujata Allen, GP.

Retired public health professor, Dr Peter Sainsbury, says “Climate change far exceeds any public health threat that I have seen in my 40 years as a public health doctor. We are running out of time to avert catastrophe. We need to act, in line with the science, immediately”.

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) and Health on the Frontline (HOFL) supports the right to peaceful protest. 

Coal and gas are causing extensive harm to human health, and fossil fuels companies are making immense profits while our planet warms. Our governments are still allowing new coal mines and gas projects despite knowing the harm they cause. In light of this, it is understandable that people protest to protect their own health and the health of our planet.


Images of the event can be provided by contacting Dr Nicole Sleeman 0401 097 876

To arrange interviews, please contact:

Dr Nicole Sleeman 0401 097 876
Dr Sujata Allan 0416 550 242
Dr Linda Selvey +61 412 072 168
Dr Peter Sainsbury 0407 103 084

About Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA):

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) is an organisation of medical professionals that protect human health through care of the environment. The devastating impacts of climate change on human health and the solutions needed to address this grave threat are a major focus of our work.

About Health on the Frontline (HOFL):

Health On The Frontline (HOFL) is an informal group of health professionals who participate in peaceful demonstrations to bring attention to the need for urgent climate action for the sake of human health.


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