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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Minister for the Environment
Federal Budget 1997

Budget Battles Air Pollution

13 May 1997

The Howard Government has announced a major initiative to reduce air pollution in urban Australia.

The 1997-98 Budget has allocated $16 million over five years to fund the Air Pollution in Major Cities Program,a national initiative to improve air quality.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said the program is a key element of the Government's commitment to reducing air pollution.

"The community is telling us it wants something done about air pollution in our major urban centres.

"Surveys show that air pollution is a major environmental concern for the community.

"The objective of the programme is to minimise the adverse effects of urban air pollution. The focus will be on the six pollutants to which the majority of Australians are currently exposed – lead, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and particles.

"The recent State of the Environment Report identified that the greatest concern currently lies in particle emissions and ozone (photochemical smog).

"We are already well advanced in our efforts. The Howard Government last year commissioned an independent inquiry into air pollution to come up with practical solutions to the problem.

"The National Environment Protection Council (NEPC) is also working to develop national standards, monitoring and reporting arrangements. The Council is also considering related air quality issues such as motor vehicle emissions and the development of the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI).

"The funding allocated to the Air Pollution in Major Cities Program will further build on the Government's work to deliver better air quality for all Australians."

Media contacts:
Senator Hill's office Matt Brown (06) 277 7640 mobile 0419 693 515
Environment Australia Jim Cannon (06) 274 1076

Commonwealth of Australia