Jenny Leong MP for Newtown and Jamie Parker MP for Balmain have announced the Greens’ plan to address evidence of worsening air quality in Sydney.
The Greens are calling for air pollution monitors to be installed at all local primary schools in close proximity to WestConnex construction zones and exhaust stacks.
The Greens plan includes:
Air quality monitors installed at air pollution ‘hot spots’ in NSW to measure pollution and particulate matter levels in the air from major roads, pollution stacks, large construction sites, concrete plants and mines;
Locally this includes Rozelle Primary School, St Peters Primary School, Haberfield Primary School, Bridge Road Primary School and Camdenville Primary School which all sit in close proximity to the WestConnex route, construction or exhaust stacks;
Filtering WestConnex exhaust stacks - a precaution opposed by both Labor and the Liberal Government; and
Ensuring that the NSW EPA enforces air quality standards on construction sites for all major projects.
Jenny Leong Member for Newtown said:
“It shouldn’t be up to local residents to measure air quality. We need assurances that Government is proactively ensuring that we have safe air to breathe.
“Local residents and parents have raised the alarm that there is insufficient monitoring, and gone as far as setting up a network of some 50 monitors in homes around WestConnex construction sites.
“Kids’ developing lungs are particularly vulnerable to particulate pollution, so monitoring air quality around schools will help ensure that the air there is safe.
“We will put an air quality monitor on schools to make sure that traffic and pollution aren’t at hazardous levels. If their air quality is found to be unsafe, then urgent action must be taken to investigate and rectify the situation,” Ms Leong said.
Jamie Parker, member for Balmain said:
“Children are particularly vulnerable to lung damage and other illnesses associated with air pollution so we need to ensure they are protected.
“With so much construction happening in Sydney, it is important that we give our kids a safe, healthy environment to learn and play in.
“There are around 250 primary and secondary schools and childcare centres within 3km of new and proposed road projects in Sydney.
"During construction this means dirt, dust and invisible emissions but once those roads are operational they will be spewing out exhaust fumes 24/7.
“The planning process for WestConnex has shown how little this government cares about air quality.
“Right now the government has installed a smattering of air quality monitors across Sydney some of which are already showing pollution levels above the annual standard limit,” Mr Parker said.
Jenny Leong and Jamie Parker are available for interview.
Media Contact: Eleanor Nurse - 0409 757 254