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Author explores the ‘human cost’ of coal and coal seam gas mining

New South Wales based author Sharyn Munroe says the current boom in coal and coal seam gas mining is a ‘national tragedy.’ She was in Gippsland to promote her new book, Rich Land, Wasteland – how coal is killing Australia and spoke with ABC Gippsland’s Mornings host, Celine Foenander.

“Any resource of any quality, whether its coal, brown or black, or of any sort of unconventional gas, whether it’s tight gas, as you’ve got here, coal seam gas or shale gas as other areas are facing, companies are going for broke, it is some sort of fossil fuel frenzy and the governments are simply responding to those requests. Giving out licences over places that in the past we would’ve considered unthinkable,” Sharyn Munroe told ABC Gippsland’s Mornings host Celine Foenander.

Sharyn spent one year travelling around coal mining areas of Australia, exploring what she calls the ‘human cost’ of the mining boom.

She says she was shocked by the scale and scope and speed and the push for profits by the coal and coal seam gas industries and wrote the book because out of concern for the future of Australians.

“The whole push everywhere around Australia to support coal and coal gas seam industries is at the expense of renewables [energy], it is delaying renewables.”

The oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil recently announced it will explore for coal seam gas on shore in Gippsland.

She says the federal government needs to change mining laws, so mining laws ‘do not trump all others.’

To listen to Sharyn’s interview, click here.