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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2326..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

relates to the application of section 24 to residential premises. By applying section 24 in relation to residential premises it will become an offence to operate a domestic solid fuel burning appliance in a manner which causes unacceptable smoke emissions into the atmosphere.

In keeping with its commitment to community participation in decision-making, the Government will be working with the community to establish standards for smoke emission from solid fuel burning appliances which are acceptable to the community. These standards are being developed as part of the Government's integrated environment protection legislation. The community-based standards will be in place for the next winter. The amendment will enable a pollution abatement notice to be served on a resident who is responsible for a solid fuel burning appliance emitting unacceptable levels of smoke. Members can be assured that ongoing community education programs and advice will continue to be the primary means of pollution control in these areas, with the issuing of a pollution abatement notice as a "last resort" option where other methods of controlling smoke pollution have failed.

Mr Speaker, I believe that the new measure provided in this Bill shows the importance placed by the Government on enhancing Canberra's air quality and protecting the health and wellbeing of members of the community. I commend the Bill to the house.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.

OZONE PROTECTION (AMENDMENT) BILL 1995

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (11.23): Mr Speaker, I present the Ozone Protection (Amendment) Bill 1995, together with the explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, over the last decade there has been increasing concern about the release of chlorofluorocarbons, otherwise known as CFCs, and halons. Collectively, these chemicals are known as ozone depleting substances. These substances are used extensively in applications such as refrigeration, air-conditioning and fire protection. As the name suggests, ozone depleting substances deplete the earth's protective ozone layer, especially over Antarctica. The ozone layer absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation and stops it from reaching the earth. On average, a one per cent decrease in the ozone concentration will lead to a 2 per cent increase in ultraviolet radiation. The effect of this on human health can be serious. For example, high doses of ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer, of which Australia already has the highest incidence in the world.


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