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Wednesday, 9 October 1991
Page: 1632

(Question No. 965)

Mr Tuckey asked the Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories, upon notice, on 20 August 1991:

(1) Are approximately 1,800 tonnes of chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs) released into the atmosphere in Australia each year through leaks from refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

(2) Is the Government a major user of equipment employing CFCs.

(3) Has she sought cooperation from other Ministers to install early warning devices to detect leaks from equipment using CFCs; if not, why not.

Mrs Kelly —-The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Approximately 1 800 tonnes are used in service and repair of mobile air conditioners and 2,500 tonnes used in service and repair of stationary refrigerators and air conditioners across all sectors. It is not documented what proportion of this use is accounted for by leakage.

(2) Yes.

(3) Yes. The Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) Strategy for Ozone Protection was sent to Commonwealth Ministers in 1989. The Strategy is a public planning document aimed at achieving a rapid phaseout of ozone depleting substances. It highlights the need for improved design and operating procedures of commercial and industrial air conditioning and refrigeration systems. The use of leak detection systems for the reduction of CFC emissions is detailed in the document.

The Strategy recommended the adoption of a Government approved, industry Code of Practice covering system design to reduce loss of refrigerant during operation and servicing. In March 1990 ANZECC endorsed the Code of Good Practice for the Reduction of Emissions of CFC 11 and CFC 12 in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Applications. The Code recommends the installation of suitable sensing and alarm systems where CFCs are used.

The Strategy is currently being reviewed and ANZECC will be looking at strengthening the measures which apply to CFC leak detectors for commercial and industrial refrigerators and air conditioners. Ministers will be provided with further advice when this review is complete.