ACT Independent Senator David Pocock has welcomed the establishment today of a Senate inquiry into the Middle Arm precinct, given its potential to significantly impact the health of Territorians and all Australians.
Senator Pocock congratulated Senator Sarah Hanson-Young for convincing the government to finally support a motion to establish the inquiry in the Senate this afternoon. He also thanked the thousands of people who have campaigned and kept the pressure up on a project that poses such massive climate and human health risks.
“The Government is investing $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds to enable a gas processing hub on Darwin Harbour, just 3 kilometres from Darwin’s suburbs. This goes against expert climate and health advice.
“This Middle Arm inquiry provides an opportunity to put the evidence on the table and try once again to convince the government to put people above gas company profits.
“Paediatricians in the NT are concerned about how Middle Arm will impact young people in Darwin, and future generations, who may grow up with an increased risk of childhood cancers.
“The evidence out of the US, compiled in a report from The University of Sydney just yesterday, shows clearly that women living around gas processing facilities and fracking wells are at increased risks of stillbirth and miscarriage, while all people are at a greater risk of hospitalisation and death from cardiovascular disease.
“I thank all of the health professionals, who came together to raise concerns on behalf of their patients and their communities and push for the Government to change its mind on this inquiry.
“I look forward to engaging throughout the inquiry process and listening to the advice of healthcare workers, medical experts, parents, young people and others to understand precisely what the Government will be buying for its $1.5 billion.”