Recognition of Australian contributions to protecting the ozone layer

Australian individuals and organisations recognised for their contribution to protection of the ozone layer and work for the implementation of the Vienna Convention and its Montreal Protocol.

2012 - Montreal Protocol 25th anniversary - Recognition of Australian contributions

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Australian Government has recognised the significant efforts by several Australians for their sustained, long-term commitment to ozone layer protection, for contributing to national leadership on this issue and helping to create a lasting international legacy.

Background

In mid-2012 the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities sought nominations for Australians prominent in the area of ozone protection and implementation of the Montreal Protocol to receive certificates recognising their leadership and contributions. Nominations were sought from relevant industry, scientific and technical organisations, both domestically and internationally.

Recipients

Of the nominations received, seven individuals were recommended to receive certificates; two from industry, four from a science or technology background, and one ex-government official. The people who have been recognised have contributed most to Australia’s phase-out of ozone depleting substances and to implementation of the Montreal Protocol more broadly.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, presented certificates to five of the recipients at an event at Parliament House on 13 September 2012.

Event photos

13 September 2012, Montreal Protocol 25th Anniversary event at Parliament House

Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliament Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, receiving a plaque recognising Australia’s contribution to ozone layer protection from Mr Christopher Woodthorpe from the United Nations Information Centre on behalf of the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.

13 September 2012, Montreal Protocol 25th Anniversary event at Parliament House

Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliament Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Mr Christopher Woodthorpe from the United Nations Information Centre with Australian’s recognised for their significant contribution to ozone layer protection (from left to right): Dr Ian Porter, Dr Jonathan Banks, Dr Paul Fraser, Dr Helen Tope, Dr Tony Hetherington (for Mr John Whitelaw), Mr Andrew Ambrose (for Mr Stephen Anderson) and Mr Michael Bennett.

Certificate recipients are:

Mr Steve Anderson

For his leadership of Australian industry to phase-out the consumption of ozone depleting substances in advance of Montreal Protocol obligations, and for his initiative in establishing an Australian product stewardship scheme for refrigerants to reduce emissions.

Dr Jonathan Banks

For his leadership, and his work with countries, on the international phase-out of methyl bromide consumption through the Montreal Protocol’s Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee, and for his work at CSIRO on development of methyl bromide alternatives.

Mr Michael Bennett

For his leadership on, and management of, an Australian product stewardship scheme for refrigerants that has successfully destroyed thousands of tonnes of waste refrigerant, and for his support of research on emissions of ozone-depleting substances in Australia.

Dr Paul Fraser

For leading Australian atmospheric measurements of ozone-depleting substances for more than 30 years, his contribution to global ozone assessments, and for his strong support for industry and government action to phase-out use of ozone-depleting substances in Australia.

Dr Ian Porter

For his leadership internationally on the transition from controlled uses of methyl bromide, and his contribution to the phase-out of methyl bromide uses in Australia including research and promotion of alternatives.

Dr Helen Tope

For her international leadership on helping countries to transition from using ozone depleting substances to alternatives for medical purposes, and for her domestic leadership on ozone protection policies while at the Victorian Environment Protection Authority.

Mr John Whitelaw

For his leadership in development and early implementation of the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and for his support of initial Australian Government action on ozone protection.

1992-2008 - US EPA Montreal Protocol awards

2008

Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

Mr. David Cox and the Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service developed the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS) to minimise methyl bromide use by actively seeking alternatives and encouraging recycling technologies.

Recognising that ineffective methyl bromide fumigations performed for quarantine purposes resulted in increased quarantine risk and unnecessary use of methyl bromide for re-treatment, they developed the AFAS to assist fumigators in meeting Australia’s quarantine requirements, and minimise the need for re-treatments.

The AFAS consists of:

  • a training and accreditation system for fumigators and regulatory officers;
  • a registration system for fumigation providers;
  • acceptance of fumigation certificates with monitoring, communication and feedback on performance; and
  • a management system run by overseas quarantine agencies to ensure continued training, accreditation and compliance of registered fumigation providers.

In this way AFAS provides capacity building assistance for monitoring, registering and auditing fumigation providers. AFAS enhances the technical expertise of overseas fumigation providers and regulatory officers, facilitates export trade and minimises methyl bromide use.

Over the period 2004-2007 AFAS reduced the number of re-fumigations of cargoes originating in two countries by 47 and 40 percent respectively, eliminating 95 tonnes of methyl bromide emissions. The amount saved will increase as more countries implement the AFAS.

The AFAS will have global reach. It is operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India, and in 2008 will reach China, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

Nordiko Quarantine Systems

Nordiko Quarantine Systems has developed an innovative and economical process to recover methyl bromide from shipping containers.

Rather than being emitted to the atmosphere, methyl bromide from shipping containers is effectively and cheaply recaptured, and sent to a facility for safe destruction. This technology has the potential to make a significant contribution to the minimisation of methyl bromide emissions worldwide.

Given the ongoing need for methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment applications and the consequent global increase in its use for these purposes, there is an urgent need to develop and implement effective emission minimisation strategies. The Nordiko Quarantine Systems technology is relatively inexpensive and easy to utilise.

As well as obvious environmental and occupational health and safety benefits, by allowing the accelerated movement of shipping containers, it can also deliver significant economic benefits.

Nordiko has been successfully working with the Belgian Government where it has a number of facilities in operation recapturing methyl bromide prior to its safe destruction. The company is currently working with Australian state and Federal governments examining the feasibility of utilising the technology in Australian ports and other facilities.

2006

Australian Strawberry and Vegetable Growers

Leadership and cooperation in Methyl Bromide Phase-Out in Australia.

AUSVEG and Strawberries Australia, representing vegetable and strawberry growers, led the phase-out of methyl bromide in Australia.

Tomato, pepper, and cucurbit growers halted methyl bromide use quickly, never needing critical use exemptions. This was achieved by a strong industry-government partnership to implement collaborative, targeted research and adopt alternatives.

Farms in the Bundaberg region, once Australia's main user of methyl bromide, now produce 100% of their vegetables using ozone-friendly alternatives. Growers in the Carnarvon region eliminated methyl bromide in 2002. Australian strawberry fruit producers only required a critical use exemption for one year (2005), but have now eliminated methyl bromide use. Australian horticulturists achieved this success through a nationwide network of growers, researchers, extension agents, government and methyl bromide and alternative suppliers dedicated to environmental protection.

2003

Milton Catelin, Environment Australia

Milton Catelin is a global leader in crafting nationally consistent and effective policies to phase out ODSs while considering global warming implications of alternatives.

He was the government project leader in establishing successful product stewardship and responsible use principles for Australian ODS/HFC importers, producers and users. He has also been responsible for ensuring the stability of the Australian National Halon Bank and increasing Australia’s enforcement and prosecution of illegal trade in ODSs.

At the international level, Mr. Catelin has been the President of the Montreal Protocol, the longest serving co-chair of the Open Ended Working Group of the Montreal Protocol, Executive Member of the United Nations Multilateral Fund (MLF), Convenor of the Production Sector Sub-group of the MLF, Vice President of the Implementation Committee of the Montreal Protocol, and a Member of the Informal Advisory Group to UNEP.

Dr. Ian J. Porter, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria

In 1994, Dr. Ian Porter organised and convened the first Australian national workshop on alternatives to methyl bromide for fumigation of soils in temperate and subtropical horticulture.

In 1995 he negotiated industry and government support for a levy on methyl bromide sales that finances the National Methyl Bromide Alternatives Research program. Since then he has led the national pre-plant soil fumigation methyl bromide alternatives program in Australia and together with his research team has provided horticultural industries worth over US$300 million with several effective alternatives.

Dr. Porter is a consultant for UNEP projects on the use and control of methyl bromide in China and Countries with Economies in Transition. He is Co-chair of the Soils Committee of the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee and a key member of Environment Australia's Methyl Bromide Consultative Committee and the Australia National Methyl Bromide R&D Committee.

He is a featured speaker at numerous national and international conferences, and has written over 200 papers and articles about useful physical chemical and biological methods for control of soil-borne pathogens, pests and weeds.

2002

Dr. Paul Fraser, Commonwealth Industrial Scientific Research Organisation

Dr. Fraser has been involved in the development of Australian and international ozone protection policies.

In 1976, Dr. Paul Fraser initiated the first continuous monitoring of CFCs in the Southern Hemisphere, and subsequently introduced technologies to measure halons, chlorinated solvents, methyl bromide, HCFCs and HFCs.

In 1978, Dr. Fraser began archiving Southern Hemisphere air samples that are supplied to major research institutions around the world.

1999

Mr James Shevlin, Environment Australia

1998

Mr Robert Sanders, VicOzone Monitoring Project, Australia

1997

Dr. Helen Tope, Environment Protection Authority, Australia

1996

Association of Fluorocarbon Consumers and Manufacturers of Australia, Australia

Dr. Jonathan Banks, CSIRO Division of Entomology, Australia*

1995

Australian Department of Administrative Services, Australia

Refrigerant Reclaim Australia, Australia

1993

Woolworths Limited, Australia

Andrea Hinwood, Environmental Protection Authority, Australia*

1992

Halon Essential Use Panel-EPA, Australia

2007 - Ozone Secretariat 20th anniversary ozone protection awards

Mr Milton Catelin has served the Protocol in a large number of capacities, including as an active delegate at meetings of the Parties, the Implementation Committee for the Montreal Protocol and the Executive Committee, and as an innovative national implementer.  His leadership in his roles as three-time co-chair of the Open Ended Working Group and President of the Meeting of Parties enabled the Parties to address a number of key issues in a considered manner.

Refrigerant Reclaim Australia is an industry-funded environmental trust that was established to recover, reclaim and destroy ozone-depleting refrigerants. Its innovative collection system has enabled the recovery of over 1,600 tonnes of contaminated and unwanted ozone-depleting substances.

Victoria’s Department of Primary Industries Methyl Bromide Research Team consisting of Scott Mattner, Ross Mann, Robyn Brett, Alan Shanks, Natalie Tostovrsnik, Rajendra Gounder, Leanne Trinder, Stefan Smith, Debra Partington, Murray Hannah, Ian Porter, has done outstanding work in evaluating alternatives and supporting Australia’s efforts to phase out methyl bromide.

Cancer Council, Australia, pioneered a highly successful “slip, slop, slap” campaign to focus the Australian public on measures that they would take to reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation.  The programme, which has been adopted in other countries, helped protect the public and raise awareness of ozone depletion.

Australian Government Department of the Environment and Water Resources also received a bilateral implementing agency award in recognition of extraordinary assistance to developing countries in the global effort to phase out ozone-depleting substances and protect the ozone layer.

Mr Anthony Hetherington was awarded an Outstanding Service Award for his outstanding work as a delegate from Australia, and a Deputy Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund secretariat.

Four Australians were also awarded Technology and Economic Assessment Panel Champion Awards in recognition of extraordinary service to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol and the global effort to protect the ozone layer

Mr Jonathan Banks has been a co-chair and indispensable member of the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee for over 10 years.  His work in TEAP on critical use nominations and quarantine and pre-shipment issues, and his work outside TEAP on the development of methyl bromide alternatives, have contributed to ozone protection.

Dr Ian Porter has been a member of the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee since 1998 and a co-chair since 2005.  He is a technical specialist and principal research scientist at the (Victorian) Department of Primary Industries, Melbourne, Australia, and has contributed to the development of alternatives to methyl bromide.

Dr Ian Rae has been a member and co-chair of the Chemicals Technical Options Committee since 2005 and has contributed to other TEAP task force reports.  His is an honorary professorial fellow as the University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr Helen Tope has been a co-chair of the Medical Technical Options Committee and Aerosols and Miscellaneous Uses Options committee for almost 15 years, where she has been a strong advocate for a seamless transition to CFC-metered does inhalers.

2007 - US EPA Best-of-the-best Stratospheric ozone protection awards

The Australian Methyl Bromide Phaseout Team for Leadership and Dedication to Methyl Bromide Phase-Out and Stratospheric Ozone Layer Protection

Dr. Ian Porter, the Australian Vegetable and Potato Growers Federation (AUSVEG), and Strawberries Australia led the phaseout of methyl bromide in Australia under a model program that ensures environmental protection. Tomato, pepper, and cucurbit growers halted methyl bromide use quickly, never needing critical-use exemptions, and strawberry producers also halted their use of methyl bromide. These leaders began planning for the phaseout in 1994, and since then have implemented outreach, research, and training programs requiring careful planning, communication, and innovation. They tested more than 40 chemical and nonchemical alternatives through innovative programs within the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and Better Berries projects funded by Horticulture Australia and the Australian Government Department of Environment and Water Resources. They also shared information through a national communication program, including a Web site and national newsletter.

Dr. Ian Porter and his team have worked with atmospheric scientists in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and other international experts to find alternatives to methyl bromide and to confirm the impact of methyl bromide emissions on the ozone layer. They have shared their knowledge with Chinese colleagues, which resulted in China signing the Copenhagen Amendment. Collaboration with other international experts has helped reduce more than 45,000 tonnes of methyl bromide between 1995 and 2007.

Team Members:

  • Dr. Ian J. Porter
  • Australian Vegetable and Potato Growers Federation (AUSVEG)
  • Strawberries Australia and the Australian Strawberry Industry

Dr. Helen Tope, Energy International Australia, for Leadership and Personal Dedication in Protecting the Ozone Layer

Co-chair of the Aerosols, Sterilants, Miscellaneous Uses and Carbon Tetrachloride Technical Options Committee (ATOC), now the Medical Technical Options Committee (MTOC), and member of TEAP since 1995, Dr. Tope was involved in the phaseout of ODSs as an environment regulator for the Government of Victoria, Australia. As a member of TEAP, Dr Tope worked on several task forces concerning process agents and HFCs.  As member of the ATOC and MTOC, she contributed valuable analysis and perspective to the MDI phaseout.  She also has worked with sterilization, miscellaneous uses, and laboratory uses of ODSs. During her 12 years as TOC co-chair, Dr. Tope has been in charge of the production of TOC reports, organisation of TOC meetings, and incorporation of new members to emphasise participation from developing countries.  Her dedication to protect the ozone layer has been outstanding. Dr. Tope’s TEAP/TOC work has meant a substantial economic sacrifice since she stopped her work at Victoria’s EPA and continues to fulfill her TEAP commitments. Dr. Tope has been instrumental in protecting the ozone layer in the following capacities: senior policy advisor; member of TEAP; co-chair and member of the ATOC and MTOC; and participant in global conferences and workshops.

1997 - Ozone Awards, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol

Dr. Jonathan Banks has played a critical role in bringing together disparate views on methyl bromide for the benefit of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. In 1992 he became the first Chair of the Methyl Bromide Technical Option Committee, whose 1994 Methyl Bromide Assessment Report served as a basis the Vienna Adjustments for controlling methyl bromide under the Protocol. Dr. Banks has also been influential in developing and promoting alternatives to methyl bromide and has been a member of UNEP’s Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) since 1993.

1997 - US EPA Best-of-the-best Stratospheric ozone protection awards

Dr. Jonathan Banks, CSIRO

Dr. Andrea L. Hinwood, Environmental Protection Authority, Victoria, Australia

1995 - Ozone Awards on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the Vienna Convention

Mr John Whitelaw, Environment Australia