Robinson, S. Mental Health Aspects of Coal Seam Gas Mining

Dr Steve Robinson, Psychiatrist
Submission to NSW Inquiry Into Coal Seam Gas, August 2011

Mining has extensive health impacts at each stage from exploration to rehabilitation. The mental health impacts arise from both the psychosocial stressors (including the visual impact) and also the toxic impacts of chemicals on the brain. In addition Noise has a range of adverse effects on brain functioning that is cumulative with the above effects.

Complaints overwhelmingly arise from what we see and hear and smell though the most critical damage may be being caused by ‘silent factors’. Gas mining follows the same principles as coal mining, just the details vary.

In a survey into mining problems of 350 residencies in the Gloucester valley in the vicinity of two open cut coal mines the most frequently reported problem was noise. This is poorly acknowledged by authorities. Noise travels further than visible dust and was perceived as a problem up to 10km from a mine at night.”

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