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To: The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment

Call for creation of the position of Freeway Commissioner

Acknowledging the Government’s concern with the potential health impacts from infrasound we call on the Government to introduce a Freeways Commissioner to investigate the negative health effects from the high levels of infrasound generated by the both the concentration and speed of trucks on freeways. This is particularly worrying given the high population density surrounding these freeways.

http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?q=freeways+and+infrasound+traffic&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ved=0CBoQgQMwAGoVChMI4YmioPrqxgIVQdimCh2C4wVe
The scope of this Freeway Commissioner could also be expanded to consider the health effects of the small particle emissions from diesel exhausts.
http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?q=diesel+small+particle+emissions+health&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ved=0CBoQgQMwAGoVChMIi_XV4vvqxgIVASmmCh2S9Q9q

And from the Victorian Department of Health:

http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/~/media/ProgramsandProjects/PlanningHealthyEnvironments/Attachments/vhtransch2.ashx

“In Australia, the number of premature deaths attributable to particulate pollution has been quoted as 1,000 (Smogbusters). Another estimate based on US figures suggests that the figure in Australia is likely to be closer to 4,000 (Parker, 1995a). A study conducted for the NSW Environment Protection Authority concluded that approximately 400 people are dying each year in Sydney from air pollution-related respiratory illness (Morgan et al., 1998). Based on the Sydney figures, deaths in Melbourne are likely to be in the order of 200-220 per year2. Estimates of the health costs of vehicle emissions in Australia range as high as $5.3 billion per annum (i.e. more than 1% of GDP), in the same order as the estimated costs of road trauma (Brindle et al., 1999).”

In accordance with the Precautionary Principle we also call on the government to immediately halt all freeway construction and to introduce speed limitations to 60 km/h for trucks on all existing freeways, and to remove all B doubles from our roads until the Freeway Commissioner has produced his report.

Why is this important?

Freeways are a far larger source of artificial (man made) infrasound than any other source. The potential health impact is substantial given the high population density.

Updates

2015-08-05 21:53:47 +1000

10 signatures reached