Senate Committees Review - The impacts on health of air quality in Australia

The Minerals Council of Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the Senate Committee Review into the impacts on health of air quality in Australia.

As you are aware, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) represents over 85% of minerals production in Australia. The MCA’s strategic objective is to advocate public policy and operational practice for a world class industry that is safe, profitable, innovative, environmentally responsible and attuned to community needs and expectations.

MCA members have a long standing commitment to Enduring Value - the Australian Minerals Industry Framework for Sustainable Development. Part of this commitment includes responsible product stewardship and the continual improvement of health, safety and environmental performance.

The minerals industry is fully committed to its social license to operate. Management of air quality and its potential impacts on communities is fundamental to this commitment. Accordingly, the industry has and continues to invest in improved scientific understanding of air quality, industry impacts and in the development of leading practice approaches to the management of air emissions.

While the focus is of the enquiry is on particulate matter, the stated scope of the enquiry is broad. Accordingly, in this submission, the MCA provides a general overview of air emissions/air quality issues as they pertain to industry emissions of particulate matter. These include:

  • Contextualising sources and exposure risks associated with airborne particulates.
  • Providing an overview of Australian particulate air quality in the national and international context.
  • Providing an overview of the status of air quality monitoring, with a focus on mining regions.
  • Contextualising exposure risks from air quality issues and their intersection with the minerals industry.
  • Providing key considerations for the development of an evidence based management response to air quality issues.
  • Providing national and international comparison of air quality standards, regulation, and the application of the National Environmental Protection Measure.
  • Providing clear examples of minerals industry commitment to continuous improvement in the assessment and management risks arising from air quality issues.

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