Public Health Practice in Australia: The Organised Effort

By Vivian Lin; James Smith et al. | Go to book overview

13

Health protection:
From the physical environment to
ecological health

Challenge

One morning on your way to work, you notice that a new planning application for a packaging plant has been posted on a large vacant site not far from a park and recreational facilities. You recall that the mayor has argued that the city needs new employment opportunities, particularly for low-skilled people. The company building the plant will be offered rate concessions and incentives, and amendments are proposed to the planning scheme to enable the plant to be built on the proposed site.

How would you respond to such a proposal? How do you balance the potential environmental health risks such as increased noise levels for nearby residents, increased traffic flows, possible air and water pollution from the industrial process, loss of visual amenity? What impact will the plant have on the health of nearby residents, particularly older people? How can the community be involved in ensuring manufacturing practices are clean and green?

The construction of the plant will create 300 short-term jobs, and when in operation it will employ about 120 people. But the economic benefits will also spread out into the community as various businesses will be involved in the supply and transport of the raw materials and the finished products. The newly employed workers and their families will then have more disposable income to spend, which will improve the financial position of other businesses in the city who may need to employ more part-time or casual staff.

-272-

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