Page 1038 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 17 March 2010
The facts are that PM2.5 data requires additional work to be done in a laboratory before the results can be validated, and there are real technical limitations on the ability to deliver that data in real time. Notwithstanding these constraints, the government fully supports the public release of our air monitoring data when it is available and we have also committed to providing an annual air quality report.
I note that Mr Doszpot also has an amendment on the table in relation to this matter. After reviewing Mr Doszpot’s amendment, which I only saw about half an hour ago or even less, I do believe that it is a sensible amendment—one that recognises the complexity of issues and is less prescriptive than the approach suggested by Ms Bresnan—and therefore, for that reason, the government will be supporting Mr Doszpot’s amendment. We think it properly recognises that there are a range of issues that need to be worked through and it provides for that to be done in a sensible way while still ensuring that consultation takes place and still ensuring that the outcomes that we seek to achieve, I think collectively, can be achieved.
I will foreshadow now that I will seek to amend Mr Doszpot’s amendment to again make it clear that the provision of PM10 and PM2.5 levels being made publicly available as they are measured is subject to technical and resourcing considerations, which is an amendment I have already foreshadowed in relation to Ms Bresnan’s motion.
In conclusion, as we are heading into the colder months of winter in Canberra, it is timely that we as an Assembly discuss and acknowledge the issue of air quality in the Tuggeranong Valley. I will remind the Assembly that, of all the capitals in Australia, we continue to have the cleanest air, and on a relatively small number of occasions the fine particulate level is above what it should be. Therefore, I am pleased that I have been able to instigate a review by my department of the measures we have in place in this area and the opportunities we have to do more, because I do believe that we can do more and I do believe that as a city we should be able to meet that standard when it comes to particulate matter in the same way that we meet every other significant NEPM standard.
The government is committed to tackling the issues related to wood smoke pollution and, as the data suggests, as a result the number of days on which particulate levels are a problem is falling, and we want to continue to ensure that we see further improvements in this area.
MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (5.00): The motion Ms Bresnan has brought to us today is an issue that has been debated in this place before. Last June, Ms Le Couteur brought us a matter of public importance on the issue of air quality in the Tuggeranong Valley, and this issue has also been the subject of discussion at the Tuggeranong Community Council meetings in the recent past.
There are certainly merits in the Greens’ motion here today and we do agree with the first part of the motion, that there are detrimental effects from wood smoke on people’s health, and I am well aware that there is a build-up of wood smoke on cold winter mornings in the Tuggeranong Valley. Our cold winters, influenced by high