In Australia's Central Coast, families battle cancer while Tasmania 

expands the possibility of a green livable future. (2022)

Caught between the past and future, New South Wales’ picturesque Central Coast nestles in the middle of a national and international political storm about the future of Australia’s energy industry. About 60% of Australia’s electricity production is derived from coal—more than any other developed country—and the government pledged half a billion dollars to new gas basins and plants, defying calls to end new fossil fuel projects. 

Gary Blaschke has dedicated years of his life denouncing the silent health impact of coal ash dams and power stations. Now, he battles three types of cancer, which he attributes to heavy metal exposure from the unlined dams within the area: an issue that has impacted many within this coastal region known as “a cancer cluster.” 

To show the larger nationwide context, my work also documents people in Tasmania. While this region of the country is powered by hydroelectric energy, it’s considered unreliable in comparison to batteries or coal. Thus showing the stark health contrasts of living between archaic and emerging energy industries in Australia, the second largest coal exporter in the world. 

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