Residents in Tighes Hill gathered today at their community garden to hear the preliminary findings of a local survey of attitudes toward coal pollution, noise and the proposed fourth coal terminal. The ‘Coal Dust Free Streets’ project is an Australia-first and aims to both survey community opinion and strengthen networks to call for improved air quality and health.
“So far community members have surveyed more than 250 people in Tighes Hill and the emerging picture is that a clear majority of residents want action on dust pollution,” said Tighes Hill Community Group spokesperson Charlotte McCabe.
The preliminary results based on surveys completed are that:
- Over 85% believe worlds best practice dust control measures should be implemented
- Around 65% are opposed to the proposed fourth coal loader (T4)
- Over 70% support a curfew on coal train movements between 11am and 5am to reduce noise and vibration impacts.
The Coal Dust Free Streets trial will be completed before Christmas. It is a pilot for a wider survey early next year. Tighes Hill is one of several Newcastle suburbs whose residents live within hundreds of metres of the coal corridor. Carrington, Maryville, Mayfield and Stockton residents also live in close proximity to the Carrington coal terminal, which is Newcastle’s oldest coal loader and exports approximately 25 million tonnes of coal each year.
Community groups will be inviting Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon, State MP Tim Owen, Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy and local Councillors to a briefing about the survey.
“Modern coal terminals are entirely enclosed,” said CTAG spokesperson Mr Zane Alcorn. “The people of Tighes Hill clearly feel that it’s time Newcastle’s existing coal terminals and the trains carrying coal through our suburbs were covered.”