Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon. Dr David Kemp
26 November 2003
Bob Brown has proven he doesn't care about the environment.
He only cares about political stunts.
Yesterday Senator Brown moved to refer the Government's Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Legislation to a Senate Committee for an inquiry to last four months.
This stunt is an attempt to block legislation that will help to heal the hole in the ozone layer and prevent global warming by reducing the use of ozone depleting substances and minimising greenhouse gas emissions.
The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Legislation will:
- reduce emissions of ozone depleting substances through nationally uniform controls on the purchase, sale, handling and disposal;
- ban the import and manufacture of a new ozone depleting substance, bromochloromethane, and ban the trade in certain ozone depleting substances with non-Protocol parties; and
- deliver greenhouse gas abatement of up to six million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per annum by 2010, which is about one per cent of Australia's 1990 emissions.
Senator Brown says he wants an inquiry into encouraging the transition to natural refrigerants and the phase out of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases.
This is a furphy.
The Howard Government has already published results of industry liaison on knowledge of, and attitudes to alternatives to synthetic greenhouse gases, including natural refrigerants. And we've funded a project to inform industry on the range of refrigerants available for use in Australia, including information on the benefits of the use of HCFC alternatives.
Furthermore, the legislation he is blocking extends support to industry innovation in reducing emissions of synthetic greenhouse gases, which could include projects that trial or promote the uptake of natural refrigerants.
This legislation has the support of environmental groups and industry. It also has support from the Labor Party and the Democrats.
Senator Brown calls himself green, but he is no more than a stuntman whose noisy routines are harming our environment.
Fact Sheet: Australia and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
- Australia is a world leader in the international fight to combat stratospheric ozone depletion through the phase out of ozone depleting substances (ODS).
- Australia was a key participant in the creation of the Montreal Protocol and has remained an active participant in its subsequent evolution.
- Australia's ozone protection initiatives have contributed to one of the world's greatest environmental success stories: the recently reported decline in the rate of destruction of the Earth's ozone layer – an indication of the possible first stage of the ozone layer's recovery.
- Reduced its annual ODS consumption from 14,002 metric tonnes in 1992 to a phase out task today of less than 4000 tonnes per annum.
- Phased out halon (an ODS used in fire suppression that is many times more potent than CFCs) one year ahead of the Montreal Protocol's schedule.
- Currently consume annually less than half the amount of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) Australia is permitted under the Montreal Protocol.
- Established the Australian National Halon Bank, widely regarded as an international model, to manage Australia's essential use reserve of Halon to 2030.
- Destroyed in excess of 1000 tonnes of halon – more than any other country in the world.
- The 2001 Review of the Commonwealth's Ozone Protection Legislation, an independent cost-benefit undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, indicated that over the effective life of the legislation (1989 - 2060), costs amount to $1 billion against benefits of $7.4 billion. Particular benefits include less skin cancers and cataracts; decreased damage to human immune systems; reduced pressures on the health care system; improved agricultural productivity and a lower incidence of diseases among animals; enhanced productivity and sustainability of marine and other natural resources.
- Formal decisions on national halon management strategies, ODS destruction technologies, compliance and enforcement, methyl bromide phase-out.
- Improving interaction between military/defence and environment bureaucracies.
- Implementing, in cooperation with United Nations Environment Program and South Pacific Regional Environment Program, a regional approach to the phase-out of CFCs which will see eight Pacific Island nations phase out of this chemical five years ahead of their international obligations.
- Establishing a national halon banking facility and management program in India (the world's 3rd largest consumer of Halon).
- Funded establishment of a network of recovery and recycling centres in Vietnam for refrigerant ODS.
Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Legislation Amendment Bill 2003
- The Howard Government and industry have collaborated to ensure Australia remains an international leader on actions to restore the Earth's ozone layer.
- The Department of the Environment and Heritage and the Australian Greenhouse Office jointly prepared the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Legislation Amendment Bill 2003 and related Bills which will ensure Australia has a truly national regulatory scheme for the management of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases used as their replacement.
- The Bill, which amends the Ozone Protection Act 1989, was introduced into Parliament on World Environment Day the 5th of June 2003.