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Thursday, 13 February 2003
Page: 11844

Mr KATTER (3:16 PM) —My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing. Is the minister aware of the position papers and advocacy of Professor Batts, Professor Dawson and Dr Kearney, at various Sydney universities, and of international pollution expert Dr Streeton? Is the minister aware that these papers and numerous others delineate the causal relationship between petrol emissions and cancer and lung diseases? Can the minister assure the House that the Department of Health and Ageing will become proactive in the fight to enforce lower levels of these offending, life-threatening emissions resulting from high aromatic levels and to lower these levels to those of Europe and the US by following their lead and replacing aromatics with ethanol?

Mr ANDREWS (Minister for Ageing) —I thank the honourable member for Kennedy for his question. I also commend him on his support for a viable ethanol industry in Australia. This is something which this government supports, as the minister for agriculture pointed out in answer to a question in this place just this week. Can I also indicate to the honourable member that one of the major commitments of the Australian government is to the health and wellbeing of the citizens of this country. That is why, for example, we have in place laws in relation to emissions. That is why we have in place laws in relation to antipollution. If, when I have read the learned articles that the honourable member has referred me to, there is anything else I can add by way of answer, then I will do so.