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Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Page: 1086

Ms HENDERSON (Corangamite) (13:52): After a long campaign for stronger clean air standards, I am delighted that our government has announced a comprehensive review of the standards which govern sulfur dioxide emissions. This is a very big issue in the coastal town of Anglesea in the Corangamite electorate I proudly represent. Currently, Alcoa's coal fired power plant in Anglesea emits some 39,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide, an amount three times that emitted by Hazelwood Power Station in Morwell. Clearly the standards are too lenient and too weak, and I am very pleased that our government is taking the action that is required to strengthen these standards. When inhaled, sulfur dioxide can significantly affect human health, causing airway irritation particularly for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions. On Thursday Minister Hunt will meet with state and territory environment ministers, at which time sulfur dioxide emissions will firmly be on the agenda.

As a strong environmentalist I am proud to advocate for cleaner air for the Surf Coast as well as speak out against onshore coal seam gas exploration and fracking in Corangamite. I am also a very strong advocate for renewable energy and the renewable energy target and very much hope that a bipartisan position on the RET can be achieved so that certainty can return to the renewables industry sector.