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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

31 January 2005

Great national results in annual pollution stocktake


The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today released new emissions data from many Australian industries on the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) website.

Senator Campbell said making this information publicly available was important to help minimise pollution.

Now in its sixth year, the NPI programme assists industries to reduce emissions by providing valuable benchmarking data on emissions of 90 different substances. The NPI is an important collaborative programme involving the Australian and State and Territory governments.

"It is up to all of us to pay closer attention to pollutants and to be aware of what we can do in our own backyards to help keep our air, water and land clean," Senator Campbell said.

"Members of the public can use the online NPI to compare emissions from individual facilities, industrial sectors, and from regions. The States and Territories can use the NPI to monitor achievements by industry in meeting environmental targets."

Senator Campbell cautioned that the NPI data must be analysed in context.

"For example, a large amount of one substance may be potentially less damaging than a small amount of another substance. I am also advised that adding different substances can be misleading," he said.

"Industries who report this data are taking the lead in emission reduction and deserve praise. Companies implementing cleaner production techniques and installing pollution control equipment are playing a key role in reducing pollution.

"Nearly half of the substances listed on the NPI had decreased emissions compared to last year's data.

"For the second year in a row there has been a welcome decrease in emissions of potentially harmful substances such as lead and toluene and the number of facilities reporting has grown 6.5% since last year.

"This is particularly pleasing at a time when solid economic growth reflects higher activity across many sectors. This shows it is possible to achieve a growing economy with a smaller environmental impact."

Emissions of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide have remained similar to last year. Motor vehicles continue to be the chief source of pollutant emissions.

"I urge industry and individuals to visit this informative website to help understand pollution issues in their local areas and Australia-wide. As well as providing a benchmarking tool for industry to formulate pollution reduction targets, I encourage people to use the information to reduce emissions on a local level, for example reducing dependence on cars and installing energy efficient appliances at home."

The NPI is accessed at www.npi.gov.au or for more information go to npi@deh.gov.au or 1800 657 945.

Media contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Related media releases:

Commonwealth of Australia