Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts logo
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts home page

Archived media releases and speeches

Disclaimer

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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

Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon. Dr David Kemp

28 November 2003

Australia a World Leader in Reducing Effects of Ozone Depleting Substances and Synthetic Greenhouse Gases


The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today hailed the passage of the Government's Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Legislation Amendment Bill as an international model for atmospheric protection.

"Australia is a world leader in ozone protection, " Dr Kemp said.

"We have destroyed more ozone depleting substances than any other country and we've developed the world's best technology to do so. Now this new Act sets an international standard for the management of those synthetic greenhouse gases which are used to replace ozone depleting substances."

Ozone depleting substances, used widely in many industries, break down the ozone layer in the atmosphere resulting in an increase in damaging ultraviolet radiation at the earth's surface. Synthetic greenhouse gases, used as replacements for some ozone-depleting substances, present no direct risk to the ozone layer but do have a greenhouse impact thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide.

"The Act means we can now develop uniform Australia-wide regulations to control both the import and the end use of synthetic greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances. It will result in direct benefits to the environment and to the health of all Australians.

"It will reduce the threat to the ozone layer and cut Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of nearly six million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or one per cent of 1990 levels in 2010, putting Australia within striking distance of its Kyoto target.

"The Act sets up a framework through which the Australian Government, with input from industry, can develop the regulations controlling and managing the use of synthetic gases. Industry involvement and support will be critical to the implementation of those regulations and the establishment of a truly national approach to the control of ozone-depleting substances and their synthetic greenhouse gas replacements.

"The Act will also enable Australia to ratify the Beijing Amendment, the most recent amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This amendment controls a new ozone depleting substance - bromochloromethane - and limits trade in ozone-depleting HCFCs to countries that have committed to their phase out."

The new Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act covers substances such as chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, bromochloromethane, halons, and methyl bromide that are used in air conditioning, refrigeration, fumigation, foam, fire protection, precision cleaning, sterilization, laboratory and analytical research.


Backgrounder

About the Act

About the gases

Implementation

The difference between ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect

© Commonwealth of Australia