24 February 2015

Speech: Big win for Anglesea community on SO2 emissions

After a long campaign for stronger clean air standards, I am delighted that our government has announced a comprehensive review of the standards which govern sulphur dioxide emissions.

This is a very big issue in the coastal town of Anglesea in the Corangamite electorate I proudly represent.

Currently, Alcoa’s coal-Fired power plant in Anglesea emits some 39,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide, an amount three times that emitted by Hazelwood Power Station in Morwell.

Clearly, Mr Deputy Speaker, the standards are too lenient, they are too weak, and I am very pleased that our government is taking the action that is required to strengthen these standards.

When inhaled, sulphur dioxide can significantly affect human health, causing airway irritation particularly for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

On Thursday Minister Hunt will meet with state and territory environment ministers, at which time sulphur dioxide emissions will firmly be on the agenda.

Mr Deputy Speaker, as a strong environmentalist I am proud to advocate for cleaner air for the Surf Coast as well as speak out against onshore coal seam gas exploration and fracking in Corangamite.

I am also a very strong advocate for renewable energy and the renewable energy target and very much hope that a bipartisan position on the RET can be achieved so that certainty can return to the renewable industry sector.

24 February 2015