Medical doctors and health professionals arrested whilst highlighting devastating health risks of Adani’s mega coal mine

Belyando, 14th December: A group of health professionals is drawing attention to the devastating health impacts of Adani’s proposed mega coal mine by stopping work on the rail line to the mine. Five of the health professionals have been arrested including two doctors who locked themselves to the entrance gates to the work site whilst others peacefully blocked access to the work site entrance. This is the third action in the past week that has stopped work on the project with more planned over the coming weeks and months.

Coal is the largest single source of air pollution in Australia, contributing to 3,000 deaths annually. Globally, coal is also a key contributor to air pollution which kills an estimated 5.5 million people each year. The coal from Adani’s mine will be burnt in India where 115,000 people die from coal pollution every year, and will release 1.3 times Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions every year.

Dr Linda Selvey, who was arrested for locking on to one of the gates, said:

“As a public health physician, I have a duty of care to protect people’s health from looming public health disasters like Adani’s mine.  We know that coal kills, as does climate change. With Adani recklessly trying to push this project ahead, we must put our bodies peacefully on the line to stop this disaster.” 

Dr John Sheridan, who was also arrested for locking on to an entrance gate, said: 

“I’m taking this action because I have witnessed the tragedy of coal – the ill health, deaths and devastation. We’re putting our bodies on the line because thousands of people’s lives are at risk if this mine goes ahead.

“Australians consistently rank healthcare as one of their highest priorities for Government spending yet Adani’s mine would wreck the health of so many. If our politicians are serious about protecting people’s health, they must revoke Adani’s approval and get on with the job of transitioning Australia to a future beyond coal.

Adani wants to build Australia’s largest coal mine and a 400km long rail line to transport the coal to the coast where it would be shipped through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Although they don't have the money to build their mine, Adani has started work on the rail, and is asking the Australian Government for $1 billion in public funds, which the Queensland Government vetoed this week. Almost thirty of the world’s largest banks have ruled out funding the project.

The people taking action today are part of Health on the Frontline, a group of health professionals putting their time, money, and bodies on the line to stop Adani from risking our planet and health.

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