PORT Waratah Coal Services is using outdated methods to predict the social and health impact of a proposed fourth coal loader, says a leading Newcastle expert.
Nick Higginbotham, an associate professor at the University of Newcastle’s School of Medicine and Public Health, made the claim at last week’s public meeting on the terminal.
About 150 people attended the meeting last Tuesday, October 15, in protest at the Kooragang Island T4 coal loader proposal.
Mr Higginbotham said the full impact of coal dust particles PM10 and PM2.5 was not fully known.
He said there were 21 nursing homes, schools and preschools near the site, as well as thousands of houses, putting people at high risk of dust exposure.
This is the second time plans for T4 went on display; most of the 488 public submissions for the 2012 proposal were opposed.
Since last year, Port Waratah Coal Services reduced its proposed coal production by almost half and bought more than 800hectares of land to be used as ‘‘ecology offset areas’’ for migratory birds and the endangered green and golden bell frog.
Plans will remain on exhibition until November 22 and can be viewed online at planningforfutureopportunity.com.au.