Air Quality

Air quality is a significant concern for human and environmental health. The Greens (WA) are committed to solving air pollution problems, both in urban areas and affected regional centres. Air pollution results from factors including vehicle and industrial emissions, poor dust control, burning of fuels, and bush fires. Poor air quality can contribute to health issues, often exacerbating existing medical conditions and causing premature death.

Aims

The Greens (WA) want:

  • air quality standards and management plans to be regularly updated according to the latest world best practice pollution standards
  • regulatory control of industrial emissions with appropriate penalties for breaches
  • independent regular ambient air monitoring with all data made publicly available; to be funded by levying emitting entities1 
  • all emitters to implement Management Plans which have been approved by a peer review process and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through enforced licence conditions
  • all new industrial proposals that have the potential to impact air quality to conduct health impact assessments in conjunction with environmental impact assessments
  • industry licences to require International Standards Organisation (ISO) best practice technology for treatment of all emissions, including CO2 and fugitive emissions, and regular, independent, third party environmental audits

Measures

The Greens (WA) will initiate and support legislation and actions that:

  • immediately implement all recommendations of the Perth Air Quality Management Plan (July 2000) (See also The Greens (WA) Planning policy)
  • urgently commence regular reviews of the Perth Air Quality Management Plan
  • develop and implement air quality management plans for regional areas
  • provide improved public notification of imminent air pollution events
  • increase the use of clean renewable energy sources, including solar power and wind generation (see also The Greens (WA) Energy Policy)
  • encourage the movement away from commercial and residential polluting gas and other forms of dirty fuel, and towards clean and renewable energy sources
  • support legislation similar to the New South Wales Clean Air (Control of Burning) Regulations 1995 to restrict open fire burning
  • review controlled burn practices
  • remove barriers to, and incentivise the uptake of non-polluting and zero emissions transport
  • provide cheap, accessible and zero-emissions public transport (see also The Greens (WA) Transport Policy)
  • ensure compliance with air quality legislation by providing adequate funding and resources to the appropriate government agencies, including for pursuing legal action to enforce standards

Glossary

1. emitting entities - Private and public corporations in each sector (e.g. fossil fuel producers and importers, industrial producers, foresters, and landfill operators) which emit climate change gases such as CO2. In some cases (e.g. fossil fuel producers and importers), liable entities are not the actual emitters but they are responsible for the emissions generated when others use their products.

Air Pollution policy ratified by The Greens (WA) in 2021

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for Air Quality is Robin Chapple MLC

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