Page 5853 - Week 18 - Tuesday, 10 December 1991

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Debate resumed from 21 November 1991, on motion by Mr Wood:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR JENSEN (10.22): I will not be long.

Mrs Grassby: You have said that before. It does not mean a thing.

MR JENSEN: The longer you go on, the longer it is going to take me, Mrs Grassby. Mr Speaker, the Rally welcomes the Air Pollution (Amendment) Bill. There are potential problems in the ACT despite the fact that we live where we do. One of the most important things is the need for enforcement.

The explanatory memorandum says that there will be no costs associated with the implementation of this Bill. I am not quite sure whether that is strictly correct. It seems to me that that could be a slightly hollow statement. I trust that it does not mean a reduction in the enforcement and problem solving areas of air pollution. I think one of the most important aspects related to air pollution is the requirement for an education program before enforcement. Once you have an education program, you can then hit very hard with the maximum publicity and solve longstanding problems.

Mr Speaker, air pollution is a problem in the ACT, particularly in our Canberra climate in the wintertime. Anyone who lives in Tuggeranong knows that when you come into the Tuggeranong Valley in the middle of winter you can encounter an air pollution problem. What I am concerned about is that there seems to be a lack of monitoring in that area. The National Capital Planning Authority, which looked at this subject, commented very succinctly on this problem. The Environment Committee report on wood fires in the ACT mentions specifically the problems associated with Tuggeranong.

In closing, let me say that we need more monitoring, especially in the valley areas of the ACT, be they north or south, to make sure that we are keeping track of the increasing amount of air pollution in the ACT so that we can then take the necessary steps to reduce it as quickly as possible.

MR WOOD (Minister for Education and the Arts and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (10.26), in reply: I thank Mr Jensen for his comments. He made a point about additional costs. There certainly will be a cost attached to this legislation. The reference to no additional cost is to the fact that the cost will be covered within the

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