Page 2497 - Week 08 - Thursday, 19 August 1993

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Thursday, 19 August 1993


MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR LAMONT: I move:

That leave of absence be given to Mr Stevenson for today, 19 August 1993.

Mr Stevenson has a family commitment he is required to attend to.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


MR WOOD (Minister for Education and Training, Minister for the Arts and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (10.31): I present the Ozone Protection (Amendment) Bill 1993.

Title read by Clerk.

MR WOOD: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Over the last decade there has been an increasing concern about the release of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, and bromofluorocarbons, or halons. Collectively, these chemicals are known as ozone depleting substances. These substances are used extensively in applications such as refrigeration, air-conditioning and firefighting. 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 effects of this on human health can be serious. For example, high doses of ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancers, of which Australia already has the highest incidence in the world.

Australia has an international obligation, under the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, to control and eventually phase out the use of ozone depleting substances. Commonwealth legislation regulates the manufacture, import and export of ozone depleting substances, while the ACT Ozone Protection Act 1991 regulates activities associated with the handling, storing or using of ozone depleting substances at the Territory level.

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