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Senator Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
Australia is looking to set the standard in the Asia-Pacific region for community knowledge on pollutants with the development of a National Pollutant Inventory.
Australia is hosting an international workshop beginning in Canberra today on the benefits of national pollutant inventories for the Asia-Pacific region. The workshop is being jointly sponsored with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the Commonwealth has already spent about $4 million dollars developing a National Pollutant Inventory.
"While we presently know that widely-used industrial and household substances are toxic, we don't exactly know where and in what volumes these chemicals are entering our environment.
"To rectify this situation we are moving toward the establishment of a National Pollutant Inventory and have received the backing of the States to continue our work.
"The inventory will record hazardous emissions released into the environment on an annual basis.
"For the first time the community will have access to important information about industry emissions into the land, air and water. The inventory will also provide a powerful tool for evaluating environment policies and programs."
Senator Hill says the workshop will enable nations of the Asia-Pacific region to share in the results of research already done by Australia.
"Australia has consulted worldwide and completed exhaustive research to develop a format for .a National Pollutant Inventory.
"Our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region face similar environmental problems and are seeking appropriate tools to solve them.
"The learning process that Australia has already been through in relation to pollutant inventories should be of enormous benefit to these nations."
The Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers for the Asia-Pacific Region workshop will run until June 27.
For further detail contact Matt Brown on 06 277 7640.