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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Trials Show Strong Support for Pollutant Inventory

1 November 1996

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says Australia is ready to take the next step in the development of a National Pollutant Inventory.

Senator Hill has launched a report on the recent trials of the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI). The trials were conducted on the Commonwealth's behalf by the Victorian Environment Protection Agency.

Trials were held in Port Pirie, Launceston, Newcastle and Dandenong.

Senator Hill says the feedback shows that all sections of the community were keen to access information about pollution close to home and work.

"The community is telling us they want access to information about emissions into the air, land and water of their local environment. * office has received more correspondence from the public on the National Pollutant Inventory than on any other issue.

"That community interest and support has been reflected in the trials. Residents made extensive use of the NPI database situated in their municipal libraries, while the voluntary participation rate from industry was more than 80 per cent.

Senator Hill says the Federal Government is moving to ensure the public has access to the information it wants.

"Federal Cabinet has approved a draft National Pollutant Inventory which we will now negotiate with the States and Territories.

"The fact that four successful trials were held in four separate States is a good omen for negotiations at the upcoming National Environment Protection Council.

"When established, the NPI will pinpoint emission areas down to the size of the post code zones of residential and industrial areas across Australia. This will help government, industry and the community monitor and evaluate levels of pollutants and take required action to reduce those levels.

Senator Hill says the Federal Government will work cooperatively with the States and Territories to deliver the public an effective tool to identify and measure polluting emissions.

Media inquiries: Matt Brown 06 277 7640; 0419 693 515

Commonwealth of Australia