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Hill's hits own wicket on halon.



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Media Release

Senator Nick Bolkus

Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage

 

28 January 2000

Hill's Hits Own Wicket On Halon

In defending his irresponsible sale of halon to the US, Senator Hill quoted Paul Keating in his 1992 Statement on the Environ ment. The then Prime Minister stated:

  • In accordance with the Montreal Protocol, new halon will not be provided in developed countries from 1994. The halon bank can then be used to supply essential uses in Australia and overseas and to help meet the needs o f developing countries. Stocks not recycled will be destroyed.

"Senator Hill has been to America often enough to know that the US does not qualify for developing country status" said Senator Nick Bolkus, Shadow Minister for the Environment. "This is a mov e motivated by greed, not by the protection of the ozone layer."

The Australian Defence Force has led the world in the phase out of halons and other ozone depleting substances. On International Ozone Day in 1997, Senator Hill called upon the rest of the world to follow Australia's lead and stop using halon in fire protection systems.

He went on to urge other countries to acknowledge that existing international halon controls are not reaching far enough.

"Yet here is Senator Hill selling halon stocks at a tidy profit, when he should be encouraging the US to lift its game" said Senator Bolkus.

"We should be encouraging all countries to go beyond the requirements of the protocol, to phase out halon use sooner rather than later and invest in the development of alternatives" said Senator Bolkus.

"Instead of using a mechanism of last resort to make a profit, we should be helping the US to follow our example and adopt world's best practice."

If there was in fact an expectation that sales of this kind should be allowed, as Senator Hill asserts, then surely industry would have sold the halon themselves rather than collect and bank it - at their cost - on the understanding it would be destroyed.

"One question still remains - what else does Hill have in mind? He has yet to release the Australian Halon Management Strategy, that was personally signed off by the Prime Minister yet never shown to their own consultative committee in its final form!"

"Not only is he keeping the strategy secret, but there is an expectation amongst industry that the National Halon Essential Uses Panel will also be disbanded. Hill must not disband the panel".

 

 

jy  2000-01-31  14:33