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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Environment Australia Annual Report 2000-01

Environment Australia, 2001
ISSN 1441-9335

The operation of the Ozone Protection Act 1989

In accordance with section 68 of the Ozone Protection Act 1989 (the Act), this report covers the operation of the Act from 1 July 2000 until 30 June 2001. The main purpose of the Ozone Protection Act is to implement the provisions of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, adopted on 22 March 1985, and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, adopted on 16 September 1987 and amended in 1990, 1992, 1995, 1997 and 1999.

For the period 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 the main elements of the control system under the Act for ozone-depleting substances were:

Environment Australia administers the Act.

Montreal Protocol

The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted as a global framework to enable countries to protect human health and the environment against increasing ultraviolet radiation resulting from depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. Australia ratified the convention in September 1987.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was established under the Vienna Convention. The protocol aims to promote international cooperation in developing and developed countries by implementing specific measures to control the consumption and production of ozone-depleting substances.

Australia ratified the protocol in May 1989. As at 30 June 2001 there were 178 parties to the Vienna Convention and 177 parties to the Montreal Protocol. The original Montreal Protocol set limits on controlled substances but did not require their total elimination by any specific date. Subsequent reviews of the protocol established tighter controls on all ozone-depleting substances, and added to the list of controlled substances. A summary of the Montreal Protocol control measures on ozone-depleting substances is set out in the table below.

Summary of the Montreal Protocol control measures

ozone-depleting substances developed countries developing countries
chlorofluorocarbons
phased out end of 1995a
total phase out by 2010
halons
phased out end of 1993
total phase out by 2010
carbon tetrachloride
phased out end of 1995a
total phase out by 2010
methyl chloroform
phased out end of 1995a
total phase out by 2015
hydrochlorofluorocarbons

freeze from beginning of 1996b
35 per cent reduction by 2004
65 per cent reduction by 2010
90 per cent reduction by 2015
total phase out by 2020c

freeze in 2016 at 2015 base level
total phase out by 2040
hydrobromofluorocarbons
phased out end of 1995
phased out end of 1995
methyl bromide
freeze in 1995 at 1991 base leveld
25 per cent reduction by 1999
50 per cent reduction by 2001
70 per cent reduction by 2003
total phase out by 2005
freeze in 2002 at average
1995-1998 base level
20 per cent reduction by 2005
total phase out by 2015

a with the exception of a very small number of internationally agreed essential uses that are considered critical to human health and/or laboratory and analytical procedures
b based on 1989 hydrochlorofluorocarbons consumption with an extra allowance (ODP weighted) equal to 2.8 per cent of 1989 chlorofluorocarbons consumption
c up to 0.5 per cent of base level consumption can be used until 2030 for servicing existing equipment.
d all reductions include an exemption for pre-shipment and quarantine uses.

Operation of the Ozone Protection Act

The Ozone Protection Act:

The Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) Act 1995:

The Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Manufacture) Act 1995:

Review of the Ozone Protection Act

A review of the Commonwealth's ozone protection legislation was undertaken in accordance with a government commitment made in 1995 to review changes made in that year to the legislation and by National Competition Policy requiring legislation to be assessed to determine whether the legislation impeded market competition. The review sought to assess the impact, appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the:

The review reflects the Commonwealth's aim to ensure that the legislative framework for the management of ozone-depleting substances remains appropriate with regard to:

The review included extensive consultation with State and Territory government agencies, industry and environment groups, and involved a public submission process and interviews with stakeholders in six capital cities. The review was completed in January 2001.

The review concluded that:

Environment Australia is currently assessing possible options for progressing the recommendations arising from the review including:

Enforcement

The rigorous enforcement of the Commonwealth's ozone protection legislation continued to be a high priority. Environment Australia continued to actively monitor compliance with the Ozone Protection Act through liaison with industry, the Australian Customs Service, the Australian Federal Police and State and Territory environment agencies.

Import and export licences

Licences granted under the Act are issued within a two-year licence period that is currently 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2001. The previous licence period was 1 January 1998 to 31 December 1999.

There were 18 licences in force during 2000 as follows:

There were 17 licences in force during 2001 as follows:

Controlled substances - hydrochlorofluorocarbon licences and quotas

Australia's annual importation of hydrochlorofluorocarbons was frozen at 250 ozone-depleting potential tonnes from 1 January 1996, about half the quantity allowed under the Montreal Protocol limits. Controlled-substance licences were issued to importers of hydrochlorofluorocarbons from that date. For the 2000-01 licence period, controlled substances licences were issued to 10 importers of hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

In accordance with section 26 of the Ozone Protection Act, a quota system for the import of hydrochlorofluorocarbons was introduced on 1 January 1999. Using the formula set out in the Act, the quantity of hydrochlorofluorocarbons that each licensee can import during a quota period is calculated. In 2001, 10 companies were issued with import quotas up to the limit prescribed in the Act. This regime will ensure that the Government's phase-out schedule for hydrochlorofluorocarbons is maintained.

Controlled substances - methyl bromide licences

Australia's annual importation of methyl bromide for purposes other than non-quarantine and pre-shipment uses was frozen at 679 metric tonnes (1991 level) from 1 January 1995 and reduced by 25 per cent from 1 January 1999 to a maximum of 509 metric tonnes. Except for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes, methyl bromide is subject to phase out under the Montreal Protocol. In 2000, imports of methyl bromide subject to phase-out controls totalled 451.21 metric tonnes and imports for quarantine and pre-shipment uses totalled 516.47 metric tonnes. In 2001, in accordance with Australia's protocol obligations, the maximum imports of methyl bromide for uses subject to the phase out has been reduced by a further 25 per cent to 339.5 metric tonnes. The import in 2001 of 427.03 tonnes for quarantine and pre-shipment has also been approved.

There were four licences with restricted import limits for methyl bromide in force during the period 2000-01.

Import exemptions

Section 40 of the Act allows exemptions to be granted by the Minister for the import or manufacture of products containing ozone-depleting substances listed in Schedule 4 of the Act, where they are essential for medical, veterinary, defence, industrial safety or public safety purposes, where no practical alternatives are available.

In 2000, there were five exemptions in force allowing five pharmaceutical companies to import or manufacture metered-dose inhalers. Four exemptions are in force allowing companies to import aircraft fire extinguishers containing halon. One exemption was issued allowing a company to import a product containing halon and traces of chlorofluorocarbons for the purpose of testing and calibration of equipment.

In 2001, there were five exemptions in force allowing five pharmaceutical companies to import or manufacture metered-dose inhalers. Six exemptions are in force allowing companies to import aircraft fire extinguishers containing halon. One exemption was issued allowing a company to import a product containing halon and traces of chlorofluorocarbons for the purpose of testing and calibration of equipment.

Licence and activity fees

The Ozone Protection Act provides for a fee to be levied for the submission of licence applications.

The fee is set by the Ozone Protection Regulations 1995 at the following levels:

Type of licence Fee
controlled substances
$10 000
controlled substances (methyl bromide)
$10 000
used substances
$10 000
essential uses
$2000

Activity fees on import and manufacturing activity under a controlled-substances licence are levied each quarter under the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) Act and the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Manufacture) Act according to the quantity and ozone-depletion potential of hydrochlorofluorocarbons imported or manufactured, or the quantity of methyl bromide imported or manufactured. The level of activity fees is set by the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) Regulations and the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Manufacture) Regulations at the level estimated to be the cost to the Commonwealth of administering the ozone protection legislation and management programmes associated with the phase out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide.

The fees in 2000-01 were as follows:

Licence activities Fee
hydrochlorofluorocarbons import
$2000 per ozone-depleting potential tonne
methyl bromide import
$90 per metric tonne

The Ozone Protection Reserve

The Ozone Protection Reserve was established by the 1995 amendments to the Ozone Protection Act. The purpose of the reserve is to reimburse the Commonwealth for the costs associated with:

An industry advisory body was established in June 1997 to advise the Minister on priorities for expenditure from the reserve. The period of committee membership expired on 31 December 1999.

The committee was reformed as the Ozone Reserve Advisory Committee in 2000. Membership appointments were made for a one-year period to allow for possible changes to the legislation and reserve arrangements that could arise out of the legislative review report.

The committee placed advertisements in national media and relevant trade journals in May and June 2001, calling for proposals for projects to be funded from the Ozone Protection Reserve from 2001-02.

The following projects received funding during 2000-01:

Projects Funded From The Ozone Protection Reserve: 2000-01

Approved projects Ozone Protection Reserve expenditure ($) Total budget ($)

Field trials into the application of methyl bromide alternative soil fumigants
150 000
603 000
PACIA project to identify industry restructure alternatives for polyurethane industry
40 000
40 000

Development of a national strategy for management
of methyl bromide in quarantine and pre-shipment uses
18 000
30 000
Total
208 000
673 000

Cost recovery

After an amendment to the Ozone Protection Act came into force on 1 January 1995, an improved cost-recovery mechanism was implemented. It is expected that the revenue raised from licence fees will facilitate full cost recovery. The fees received during 2000-01 were as follows:

Ozone Protection Reserve Receipts and Expenditure: 2000-01

Reserve Receipts
Licence or activity
Amount received ($)
hydrochlorofluorocarbons licence fees
100 000
essential uses licence fees
6 000
methyl bromide licence fees
40 000
used substances licence fees
20 000
hydrochlorofluorocarbons activity fees
573 238
methyl bromide activity fees
126 290
Total
865 529
Reserve Expenditure
Approved items (grants)
239 000
Administration / advertising
24 000
Salary @ 3 average staffing level*
183 000
Total
446 000

* Government approval was given for the reimbursement of the salaries of three staff from the Ozone Protection Reserve.
During 2000-01 Environment Australia was reimbursed for the cost of one year's salaries of three ozone protection officers employed during the period 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001.

Freedom of information

Two requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 were received.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal received no applications under section 66 of the Act, for review of a decision made by the Minister, during 2000-01