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Senator The Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

EMBARGO: 8.00PM 22 MAY 2001



The Howard Government's campaign to reduce environmental pollutants has been boosted by $18.1 million over four years.

Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Senator Robert Hill said the funding builds upon the Howard Government's already significant funding commitment to improve Australia's air and water quality.

"During its term in office the Government has funded numerous programs to address environmental pollutants," Senator Hill said.

"A key government priority is reducing the amount of pollution emitted to the environment by vehicles and industry. Vehicles are recognised are the being the major contributor to urban air pollution in Australia.

"The Budget provides $8 million over four years to improve fuel quality in Australia and cut vehicle emissions.

"The funding will ensure that fuel supplied in Australia meets uniform national standards and will also support the use of new vehicle technology to reduce polluting emissions."

The Government has also allocated $5.1 million over four years to extend the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI). The NPI provides vital information to the community about the types and amounts of pollutants, such as sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides, being emitted into the air, land and water.

"The latest funding allows the NPI to continue to build on its initial successes of having industry report the emissions they are producing," Senator Hill said.

"The NPI is already providing valuable information to the community, government and industry about the impact of industry on the environment.

"It has also been successful in encouraging industry to introduce waste minimisation and cleaner production strategies."

To meet its commitment to tackle dioxins and dioxin-like substances in the environment, the Government has provided $5 million over 4 years, commencing in 2001-2002. The Government is currently working with the States and Territories to develop a national dioxins program.

"All three initiatives are key steps in ensuring a cleaner environment with improved air and water quality for all Australians, now and into the future," Senator Hill said.

Belinda Huppatz (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia