How the Australian Government is poisoning our air
The Abbott government has announced that its new air pollution regulations will require air quality monitoring equipment to be installed in more than a quarter of all workplaces and commercial buildings across the country by 2020.
The plan, which is designed to tackle a wide range of pollutants, will include an air quality target for each workplace.
In a statement, the Department of Environment and Heritage Resources said the changes were designed to reduce the risk of air pollution.
The regulations will also increase the amount of outdoor outdoor air quality testing equipment installed in workplaces, including in buildings, and will require companies to have access to testing stations at work sites and commercial premises.
The changes will require more than 3,000 buildings to have testing stations, the statement said.
“With the new requirements, businesses and workplaces will be required to be compliant by the end of 2020,” it said.
A new air quality threshold is set for businesses, with the threshold to be 30 parts per million.
The threshold is not set to be enforced on businesses.
The department said it had received feedback on the new standards from industry and other stakeholders.
Businesses with more than 10 workers will have to install equipment to monitor their air quality.
The new rules are expected to cost $1.2 billion over four years, according to the department.
The government is also considering an additional $1 billion in funding for air quality control at work.
The announcement comes on the same day that Australia’s National Institute of Air Quality said the country’s air quality had improved after a record heatwave and winter.
“We’ve also seen some very low temperatures over the last few days,” said Professor Ian Macfarlane from the University of New South Wales.
“That has a lot to do with the fact that there are more people working in those places.”
Professor Macfarlys new report, Climate Change: An Uncertain Time, said the temperature was also down to a more comfortable, healthy climate than at the beginning of the year.
“It was much warmer and the average temperature was around 10C [23.4F],” he said.
The report also warned that the level of air pollutants in the atmosphere was expected to rise as climate change drives more extreme weather events, including flooding and bushfires.
“If we continue to burn fossil fuels, we’re going to have to start putting up with more extreme events,” he said in a statement.
“But we’re also going to be more exposed to those events.”
Professor MacDonald said there were also signs that the government was taking the lead in trying to tackle climate change.
“They’ve done a very good job on the implementation of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation,” he told ABC Radio.
“The government has got a lot of support from the industry.”
The government has previously said it would cut the number of people working for low pay.
“People with little or no experience of the work they are doing will have less of an incentive to move into a new job and the opportunities for people to move up are going to decrease,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt said in February.