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Tuesday, 11 September 1973
Page: 829

Mr Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

What action has he taken

(a)   to develop and introduce environmental education programs and

(b)   to regulate automotive emissions.

Dr Cass - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a)   I have raised the general question of environmental education with my colleagues the Minister for Education, the Minister for the Media and the Minister for Science and have been assured of their interest and support. My colleague, the Minister for Education has obtained the Government's approval for a curriculum development centre to be developed and operated in co-operation with the States. My colleague, the Minister for Science, has suggested that Australian Government Departments might examine in detail the question of environmental education when the initial program of the curriculum development centre has been proposed.

My Department recently advertised for staff to conduct a feasibility study for an information retrieval system which would be directed towards making environmental information available to interested groups and individuals. My Department is also represented on the Public Awareness Sub-Committee of the Australian Environment Council.

(b)   The honourable member will be aware that apart from myself, my colleagues the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Health, have a vital interest in the regulation of automotive emissions. Likewise our respective counterparts in the States have similar interests. The Australian Environment Council is the forum in which I discuss such matters with my State counterparts and its committees have worked closely with the Committee for Motor Vehicle Emissions of the Australian Transport Advisory Council. My Department is also represented on that Committee. I have instructed my Department to press for stricter emission standards in these various Committee and the honourable member will be aware that the Australian Transport Advisory Council announced in February new standards in 1975-1976 model cars. The determination of appropriate standards beyond these is a complex matter which these various groups are examining.

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