Air Pollution Issues in Australia.

Main Article Content

Janet Roden

Abstract

This researcher examined air quality in Australia and, compared to other countries, found that there were considerable gaps in Australian’s actions and legislation towards air pollution.


Firstly Australia has a Neoliberal Federal Government who are committed to continuing with fossil fuel development. As well as a preference for coal, gas is regarded as being a big contender in the Australian economy. The Federal Government is now keen to undertake CSG mining to extract gas which produces methane which is approximately 30 times more dangerous to the climate in greenhouse gas emissions than carbon dioxide.


Further concerns have arisen in regard to lack of fuel standards which mean that car owners can use whatever types of petrol they wish. Diesel is also another option. Both these fuel sources are creating toxic, uncontrolled pollution.


Another worrying consideration is the 40 year old Australian coal-fired power stations. The author was affronted at the terrible toxins being emitted from the Liddell coal-fired power station, well above the international standards, and there only being dated control in place, unlike the reduction of emissions in other countries.


The research project the author undertook on: “Supporting the Upper Hunter valley community in the transition from coal power to renewable energy with the closure of the Liddell power station in 2022,” showed that individual and family health results were concerning as there was confusion about whether respondents considered their health was impacted. Interestingly focus groups highlighted that many people did understand that once the power station closed their health would definitely improve.


NSW and Australia need policy development and action in air quality. The evidence of bad pollution – no fuel standards; dated controls on emissions for 40 year old coal-fired power stations; and probable continued greenhouse gas emissions increasing through continued coal use and gas mining – show that Australia is at the crossroads in regard to air quality and climate change. Zali Steggall, an Independent Member of Parliament, is proposing a Climate Change Bill by November 2020. Her supporters are arguing for a conscience vote. If enacted, the Bill would address the issue of climate change in a scientific and systematic way and, in so doing, tackle the multi-faceted problem of Australia’s poor air quality.

Article Details

How to Cite
RODEN, Janet. Air Pollution Issues in Australia.. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 10, oct. 2020. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/2262>. Date accessed: 27 nov. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v8i10.2262.
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