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Thursday, 10 August 2017
Page: 8038

Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongMinister for the Environment and Energy) (09:36): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill will allow the Commonwealth to introduce air pollution standards on non-road spark ignition engines and equipment which will deliver significant environmental and health benefits.

Standards will cover outdoor power equipment such as leaf blowers, lawnmowers, chainsaws and brush cutters, as well as marine engines such as outboards and personal water crafts.

Emissions from these products include nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.

This bill will align Australia with other developed countries and major markets that already have similar standards, including the United States, the European Union, Japan and China. Australian standards will be harmonised to minimise any regulatory burden.

Population and transport growth will increasingly put pressure on the clean air we currently enjoy, especially in urban areas.

Recognising the importance of clean air, Australian environment ministers at the federal, state and territory level established the National Clean Air Agreement in December 2015. The introduction of these standards was identified as a key action.

Small spark engines are extremely high emitters of noxious air pollution for their size. In fact, a two-stroke leaf blower can produce the same amount of nitrogen oxides as one car and the same amount of hydrocarbons as 150 cars. At peak times, they can contribute up to 10 per cent of air pollution in urban areas.

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon will cease interjecting.

Mr FRYDENBERG: Because these products are operated within close proximity to users, their emissions have significant health impacts. New standards will deliver a benefit of up to $1.7 billion in avoided health costs over the next 20 years.

In order to allow industry time to adjust to these new standards, they will be phased in over the next two years with the import of non-compliant products prohibited from 1 July 2018 and sale of non-compliant products prohibited from 1 July 2019.

The Australian government has worked with industry for over a decade to develop emissions standards for these products and will continue this cooperation to ensure Australians continue to enjoy clean air in the future.

Debate adjourned.

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon will cease interjecting. He's on thin ice. I've only had one cup of coffee this morning.

Mr Bowen: Would you like me to go get you one?

The SPEAKER: If only!