Cheryl Edwardes

Cheryl Edwardes


    Minister releases Perth Air Quality Management Plan

    12/12/2000 9:37 AM

    A change in public behaviour will be a major factor in the success of a State Government plan to ensure lasting improvements to Perth’s air quality for present and future generations.

    Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes released the Perth Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) today that contains 126 actions to be carried out over the next 30 years.

    Mrs Edwardes said changes to individual behaviours held the key to lasting improvements to the quality of Perth’s air.

    “The areas identified as having the greatest impact on Perth's air quality are commuter behaviour, vehicle emissions and industrial emissions,” she said.

    “Of these, commuter behaviour is the one lagging behind and as a community we must be prepared to overcome our over-dependence on passenger motor vehicles if we want to protect our children from air pollution.

    “The State Government continues to develop successful programs, infrastructure and regulations to provide alternatives to cars and to clean up vehicle emissions.

    “The State Government’s LPG incentive scheme shows individual choice can make a difference as LPG-powered vehicles cut carbon dioxide emissions by about 20 per cent.

    “If 1,000 passenger cars were converted to LPG every year, we would save about 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide and about 10 tonnes of smog forming emissions.”

    The AQMP contains a balance between direct emission reductions and actions providing indirect benefits - such as pollution prevention, community education and research.

    It includes actions addressing the impacts of land use and transport planning on air quality, as well as actions for increased air quality monitoring and modelling.

    Mrs Edwardes said the AQMP was a coordinated vision of how industry, Government and individuals could work together to ensure cleaner air for our future.

    “This document shows a strong commitment by the State Government to move now to provide measures that will be of immediate and longer term benefit,” she said.

    “This is a blueprint for air management that provides a pro-active approach to air quality that will help provide a better environment, a healthier lifestyle and a cleaner, clearer skyline for ourselves, our visitors and our children.

    “Industry continues to work towards cleaner technologies and practices, as reflected in substantial emission reductions over several years.

    “Sulphur dioxide emissions from industry have fallen between 1996 and 1999 by more than 10,000 tonnes, particle emissions have dropped by almost half and reactive organic compound emissions have decreased from 11,700 to 8,600 in the same period.

    “Improvement in air quality is not only an issue for Government and industry but also for us all as individuals. I encourage all members of our community to consider the many ways they can make a difference on an individual basis.”

    Mrs Edwardes said extensive consultation and commitment from the Air Quality Coordinating Committee, which co-authored the AQMP, meant it was robust and flexible.

    “The 15 members of the Air Quality Coordinating Committee co-authored the report, with support from eight working groups with 46 stakeholder groups,” she said.

    “The committee had representatives from State and local government, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kwinana Industries Council, the Conservation Council of WA, Royal Automobile Club of WA and the Pollution Action Network.

    “Forty-five submissions were received when the draft AQMP was released in July.

    “The plan will be reviewed every five years, allowing us to fine-tune, get back on track, introduce new elements and maintain community and social currency.”

    Mrs Edwardes said 36 of the 126 actions identified in the AQMP had been already commenced or completed by the State Government and its agencies.

    These included:
    • haze alerts to promote correct use of wood heaters and wood heater and fire-wood regulations;
    • "cleaner fuels" regulations introduced on January 1, 2000 with further improvements in fuel quality to commence January 1 2001;
    • regulation of smoky vehicles, with the imminent introduction of the 10-second rule;
    • State Government programs to promote alternatives for commuters, including the Department of Transport’s TravelSmart and the Department of Environmental Protection’s Cycle 100 programs; and -
    • other programs including low sulphur diesel buses and trials of hydrogen fuel-cell buses with zero emissions and encouragement of the use of LPG fuel and special purpose-built natural gas vehicles in the taxi industry.
    Funding for the AQMP has been set aside in the State Budget from July 2001.

    The AQMP is available on the Department of Environmental Protection’s website at

    Media contact: Steve Manchee on 9421 7777