The Greens are campaigning against uncovered coal trains in the lead up to the Griffith by-election, saying they’re putting the health of voters at risk.
The Australian Greens are trying to “clear the air” as they campaign in the seat vacated by ex-prime minister Kevin Rudd.
The party spruiked its proposed Clean Air Act as it campaigned in the Griffith electorate, in inner Brisbane, on Monday.
The Greens say such an act is needed to establish standards for air quality and legally require coal trains passing through residential areas to be covered.
Greens candidate for Griffith Geoff Ebbs says an average of three coal trains, with some 40 to 50 uncovered wagons each, pass through the electorate each day, putting voters’ health at risk.
“The Cleveland line runs right through Griffith and with multiple coal trains passing through every day with uncovered wagons, this is a major issue for locals,” he said.
“According to the CSIRO, more Australians die from particle pollution, like coal dust, than from car crashes each year.”
Greens Senator Larissa Waters and Clean Air Queensland spokesman Michael Kane joined Mr Ebbs on the campaign trail on Monday.
Apart from climate change issues, the Greens will also highlight the major parties’ “attacks on social welfare and education spending” in the lead up to the by-election, Mr Ebbs said.
Eleven candidates are vying for the February 8 poll, including the Liberal National Party’s Dr Bill Glasson, a former Australian Medical Association president who was narrowly defeated by Mr Rudd at the September election.
Labor is pinning its hopes on employment and industrial relations lawyer Terri Butler.