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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Sport Venues Score on World Ozone Day


16 September 1996
(111/96)

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says Australia's major sporting venues are setting the pace in reducing ozone depleting chemicals.

The new Sydney 2000 Olympic Stadium, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground are the unlikely stars of International Ozone Preservation Day.

Senator Hill said the venues are setting an example to industry by phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals used in refrigeration and air conditioning.

"International Ozone Preservation Day is four years out from the first days of competition at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

"The Olympic Stadium at Homebush will include in its state-of-the-art design the use of passive ventilation to minimise the need for air conditioning. As with the Olympic Aquatic Centre, maximum use will be made of natural cooling and ventilation."

Senator Hill says football finals time and the coming cricket season will also put the focus on two of the best performers in CFC reductions - the MCG and the SCG.

The MCG has just completed a program to eliminate CFC gas in all air conditioning and 70 major refrigeration units. Additionally the MCG no longer uses foam cups made with CFCs.

The general manager of the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), Dr John Lill, says the move to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals was considered both an engineering and financial priority.

"The MCC has taken a proactive step to remove all CFC chemicals from the facilities at the ground before they are no longer available. We were aware that delaying the removal of CFCs could have proven to be more expensive in the long run."

The SCG has completed the replacement of CFC chemicals in all air conditioning plant and is in the process of replacing the chemicals in their smaller domestic refrigerators.

Senator Hill says with summer approaching, outdoor sporting events highlight the dangers and costs of ozone depletion.

"Ozone depletion leads to increased UV radiation which in turn leads to higher incidence of skin cancer, eye cataracts and genetic damage. The cost of these health impacts on Australians amounts to an estimated $70-$80 million a year."

"With the summer recreation season approaching, our major sporting venues are playing their part in protecting the ozone layer.

"Participants, supporters, and spectators still need to respect our unique climate and maximise their protection against high summer levels of UV."

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer was designated by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness that around this time over Antarctica the ozone hole thins and a 'hole' forms.

Senator Hill says Australia is playing a leading role in ozone preservation.

"Australia no longer imports or manufactures CFCs and we are among the front runners in complying with the requirements of the Montreal Protocol thanks to the cooperative efforts of industry, the community and all levels of government.

"Thanks to the effective international ban of ozone-depleting chemicals, the changeover from CFCs is being conducted without disrupting business. The area of the ozone 'hole' has essentially stabilised since 1994 when the size extended over 22 million square kilometres. The momentum must be maintained."

For further information contact:
Minister's office, Matt Brown, 06 277 7640; 0419 693 515
EPA, Jim Cannon, 06 274 1076, (AH) 06 294 4076

Commonwealth of Australia