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

31 January 2005

NT industries sign up to national pollution programme


Northern Territory industries are responding to pollution challenges by increasingly reporting on their emissions, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

Releasing the 2004 National Pollutant Inventory website, Senator Campbell said there were now 96 facilities reporting in the Northern Territory - an increase of 25 since the NPI was first established six years ago.

"It is heartening to see that there has been an overall increase of 6.5 per cent facilities reporting nationally. This shows that industries are taking their responsibility to report emissions to the public seriously," he said.

"Making this information publicly available is important to help minimise pollution. Having more industries reporting gives us a much clearer picture of the range and extent of pollution and helps industries to address problems in their facilities."

The NPI programme involves the Australian, State and Territory governments to assist industries to reduce emissions by providing valuable benchmarking data on emissions of 90 different substances.

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

The Minister said 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. It was also misleading to add together amounts of different substances.

Senator Campbell praised industries taking the lead in emission reduction and said companies implementing cleaner production techniques and installing pollution control equipment are playing a key role in reducing pollution.

"In 2004 nearly half of the substances listed on the NPI had decreased emissions compared to the last reporting year, and for the second year in a row there has been a welcome decrease in emissions of potentially harmful substances such as lead and toluene," Senator Campbell said.

"This is particularly pleasing at a time when solid economic growth reflects higher activity across many sectors. This shows it is possible to achieve strong economic growth with a smaller economic 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 web-site 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 hope people will use the information to look at reducing 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