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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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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 2001-02

Environment Australia, 2002
ISSN 1441-9335

Reports - Operation of the Ozone Protection Act 1989

In accordance with section 68 of the Ozone Protection Act 1989, this report covers the operation of the Act from 1 July 2001 until 30 June 2002. 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 and 1997.

For the period 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 the main elements of the control system under the Act for ozone-depleting substances were:

administration and enforcement of the licence system controlling the manufacture, import and export of chlorofluorocarbons, halons, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, hydrobromofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons and methyl bromide; and administration of the exemption system controlling the manufacture or import of certain ozone-depleting substance-based products and equipment for which practical alternatives are not available in Australia.

The Act is administered by Environment Australia.

Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer aims to promote international cooperation in developing and implementing specific measures to control the consumption of ozone-depleting substances.

Australia ratified the protocol in May 1989. As at 14 June 2002 there were 184 parties to the Vienna Convention and 183 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 following table.

Summary of the Montreal Protocol Control Measures
Ozone-depleting substances Developed countries Developing countries
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) 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 (HCFCs) Freeze from beginning of 1996b Freeze in 2016 at 2015
  35 per cent reduction by 2004 base level
  65 per cent reduction by 2010  
  90 per cent reduction by 2015 Total phase out by 2040
  Total phase out by 2020c  
Hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs) Phased out end of 1995 Phased out end of 1995
Methyl bromide Freeze in 1995 at 1991 base level d Freeze in 2002 at average
  25 per cent reduction by 1999 1995-1998 base level
  50 per cent reduction by 2001 20per cent reduction by 2005e
  70 per cent reduction by 2003  
  Total phase out by 2005 Total phase out by 2015
a. An exception is made for a very small number of internationally agreed essential uses that are considered critical to human health and/or laboratory and analytical procedures.
b. This is based on 1989 HCFC consumption with an extra allowance (ozone-depleting potential- weighted) equal to 2.8 per cent of 1989 CFC 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.
e. This will be reviewed in 2003 to decide on interim further reductions beyond 2005.

Operation of the Ozone Protection Act

The Ozone Protection Act:

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

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

Reform of the Ozone Protection Act

At the request of the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Environment Australia is developing draft legislation that would implement the recommendations of the Review of the Commonwealth's Ozone Protection Legislation (2001), for consideration by Government. These changes would include but not be limited to:

The Commonwealth's ozone protection legislation will also be amended to give effect to the Beijing Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

These reforms reinforce Australia's ongoing commitment to tackling the significant environmental issue of stratospheric ozone depletion, and the related issue of global warming, in a practical manner.

Enforcement

The rigorous enforcement of the Commonwealth's ozone protection legislation continued to be a high priority. Environment Australia continued to monitor compliance with the Ozone Protection Act.

Import and Export Licences

Most licences granted under the Act are issued within a two-year licence period that is currently 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2003. The previous licence period was 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2001.

There were 18 licences in force during 2001 as follows:

There were 15 licences in force during 2002 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. For the 2000-2001 licence period, controlled substances licences were issued to ten 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 2002, eight companies were issued with import quotas totalling 190 ozone-depleting potential tonnes. 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. Except for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes, methyl bromide is subject to phase-out under the Montreal Protocol. In 2001, imports of methyl bromide subject to phase-out controls totalled 334 metric tonnes and imports for quarantine and pre-shipment uses totalled 475.5 metric tonnes. In 2002, approval was given for imports of up to 339.5 metric tonnes for uses subject to the phase out, and 684.8 tonnes for quarantine and pre-shipment.

There were five licences with restricted import limits for methyl bromide in force during the period 2001-2002, and five in force for the period 2002-2003.

Import Exemptions

Section 40 of the Act allows exemptions from compliance with the Act 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 the products are essential for medical, veterinary, defence, industrial safety or public safety purposes, or where no practical alternatives are available.

In 2001, there were five exemptions in force allowing five pharmaceutical companies to import or manufacture metered-dose inhalers. Six exemptions were 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 2002, there were five exemptions in force allowing five pharmaceutical companies to import or manufacture metered-dose inhalers. Four exemptions were in force allowing companies to import aircraft fire extinguishers containing halon.

Licence and Activity Fees

The Ozone Protection Act provides for a fee to be levied for the granting of a licence. The fee is set by the Ozone Protection Regulations 1995 at the following levels:

 
Type of licence Fee
Controlled substances (HCFCs) $10 000
Controlled substances (methyl bromide) $10 000
Used substances $10 000
Essential uses $2000

Activity fees on import activity under a controlled-substances licence are levied each quarter under the Ozone Protection (Licence Fees - Imports) 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 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 2001-02 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 committee was reformed as the Ozone Reserve Advisory Committee in 2000. Membership appointments expired on 31 December 2001, to allow for possible changes to the legislation and reserve arrangements that could arise out of the legislative review report.

The following projects received funding during 2001-02:

Projects Funded from the Ozone Protection Reserve 2001-02
Approved projects Ozone Protection Reserve expenditure ($) Total budget ($)
Field trials into the application of    
methyl bromide alternative soil fumigants 27 227 603 000
Development of a national strategy for    
management of methyl bromide in    
quarantine and pre-shipment uses 10 910 30 000
Total 38 137 633 000

Advertisements were placed by the Ozone Reserve Advisory Committee in national media and relevant trade journals in 2001, calling for proposals for projects to be funded from the reserve. Four new projects were subsequently approved for funding over a two-year period, but had not commenced or received funding by 30 June 2002.

New Projects Approved Under the Ozone Protection Reserve 2001-02
Approved projects Total budget ($)
Workshops on integrated pest management as methyl bromide alternative for soil fumigation in regional fruit and vegetable production 17 300
Trialing of methyl bromide alternatives for quarantine and pre-shipment treatment of export hay 72 028
Production of the 6th edition Refrigerant Selection Guide, to inform industry on the range of refrigerants available for use in Australia including HCFC alternatives 85 800
Development of an environmental rating scheme for air \conditioning and refrigeration systems using life-cycle assessment methodology, to raise awareness in industry and government, and confirm comparative operating efficiencies 181 940
Total 357 068

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 2001-02 were as follows:

Ozone Protection Reserve Receipts and Expenditure 2001-02
Licence or activity Amount received ($)
Reserve Receipts
Essential uses licence fees 2000
Methyl bromide licence fees 60 000
Used substances licence fees 10 000
HCFC activity fees 295 561
Methyl bromide activity fees 69 069
Total 436 630
   
Reserve Expenditure
Grants 38 137
Administration / advertising 5389
Salaries* 183 000
Total 226 526
* Government approval was given for the reimbursement of the salaries of three staff from the Ozone Protection Reserve. During 2001-02 Environment Australia was reimbursed for the cost of one year's salaries of three ozone protection officers employed during the period 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.

Freedom of Information

One request was received under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

No applications under section 66 of the Act, for review of a decision made by the Minister, were received by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.


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