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Coal Seam Gas

The federal representative for Lynne, Independent Rob Oakeshott spoke out against fracking coal seam gas and coal mining in Gloucester.

2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010
Water Trigger - Gloucester BioRegion - Hunter Valley health

The following are Mr Oakeshott's press releases on Hunter Valley health concerns.


21 June 2010 - THE comparatively higher rates of respiratory and cardiovascular issues in the Upper Hunter region have been raised in the federal parliament by the Independent MP for Lyne Robert Oakeshott.

“This is now a moral, legal and political policy challenge for both the State and Federal Governments right now,” said Mr Oakeshott.

“Population health should take priority over all other considerations, and if we have a problem, we must address it now.

“The NSW Government has this week confirmed that „there are higher than average rates of some conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular problems in the region as a whole.‟

“So whilst they are not directly drawing the link to mining activity yet, I find it very difficult to believe there are more smokers, or some other „left field‟ reason that would distort this population health evidence that is now public,” said Mr Oakeshott.

Attached are both statements put by Mr Oakeshott to both the House of Representatives and separately to Minister Garrett.

Air quality concerns raised in Parliament (PDF)

Air Quality Gloucester Basin


05 May 2010 - INDEPENDENT MP for Lyne Robert Oakeshott has sought an expansion of the recently-announced air quality study in the Hunter Valley to include the Gloucester Basin, following a meeting with the community group Gloucester Residents in Partnership (GRIP).

Mr Oakeshott said he had written to NSW Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt today after hearing the residents’ concerns about air quality in their region.

“The community sentiment about increased mining activity in the Gloucester basin is clearly one that needs better attention,” Mr Oakeshott said.

“Monitoring of air quality within the region would assist in making sure any community concerns are based on fact and where issues emerge, they can then be addressed in a clear, factual way.”

Mr Oakeshott said a recent Four Corners program on air quality in the town of Singleton, as well as years of local community pressure, had seen NSW Health agree to do a full air monitoring study to assess whether air quality was an issue and, if so, what steps could be taken.

“As the Hunter-New England Area Health Service, along with the Hunter Division of GPs, will be helping coordinate the Singleton study, I think it would be of value to include the communities of the Gloucester basin in the same survey and trials,” Mr Oakeshott said.

“I therefore look forward to a comprehensive response from the Health Minister, and hopefully a positive one to this request.”


11 June 2010 - CONFIRMATION from the NSW Government that respiratory problems are comparatively higher in the Upper Hunter region suggests a major legal, moral, and political policy crisis for all levels of government, Independent MP for Lyne Robert Oakeshott said today.

“The NSW Government has this week confirmed “there are higher than average rates of some conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular problems in the region as a whole.” Mr Oakeshott said.

“Both the NSW and federal governments, and both sides of party politics, are arguing for an expansion of mining in the Upper Hunter. Yet population health research is now suggesting this rapid expansion to date could be having a negative impact on health standards within the region.

“The issue was recently identified by an ABC Four Corners program focusing on the Singleton community, and with the redistribution of the seat of Lyne, I have had a lot of community feedback from the new part of the electorate, the Gloucester basin, where mining activity and gas extraction is expanding at a fast pace.

“Only today, the same day I received the letter from the NSW Government confirming the results of their population health work to date, I received a media release from the Gloucester Residents in Partnership (GRIP), who are increasingly concerned about the loss of amenity, loss of health, and general loss of community due to the economic dominance of mining in public policy considerations.

“What the NSW Government has now confirmed is that there is a problem in population health in the Hunter region.

“The legal, moral and political questions that now need to be answered are; „why is there a problem?‟, and more importantly, „what are they going to do about this problem?‟,” Mr Oakeshott said.

Hunter Health

Rob Oakeshott can be contacted on twitter:

Rob Oakeshott's Parliamentary speeches are here.

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