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Commitment to clean air for Tamar region.

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Sunday, 17 July 2005

The Australian Government is calling for expressions of interest in the $1 million Launceston Clean Air Industry Programme.

Federal Member for Bass Michael Ferguson said the three year project will target industrial facilities in the urban areas of the city.

“Wood smoke is a serious problem in Launceston, so this programme will aim to reduce the amount of particle pollution industry emits,” he said.

“It will fund changes to the technology and processes used at these facilities, like replacing wood-fired burners with cleaner burning alternatives.

“Until recent years, Launceston had the worst air quality of any city in Australia in winter, because of the reliance on woodheaters for heating.”

The Federal Government has always been interested in helping combat the issue of wood smoke in the Tamar Valley.

In 2001, it established the $2.05 million Launceston Woodheater Replacement Programme, under the Natural Heritage Trust, to replace polluting woodheaters with cleaner alternatives.

The Programme concluded in June 2004, with 2,244 woodheaters replaced.

Mr Ferguson said the Federal Government also provided a grant of $120,000 to upgrade Blue Ribbon’s wood-fired boiler in Launceston to a gas-fired generator.

“When completed within the next few months, the upgrade of the boiler is estimated to be equivalent to replacing around 240 woodheaters,” he said.

The Regional Air Quality Programme was an initiative to continue the successful woodheater education campaign in Launceston