A commitment to address the air quality issues impacting the inner west communities were one of the top priorities for the Andrews Labor Government in the Victorian Government’s Clean Air Summit held yesterday.

The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio highlighted that although much had been done to address air pollution, hot spots, such as Brooklyn continued to face challenges that need to be addressed.

At the Summit, community members, interest groups, industry, local government and air quality specialists gathered to add their suggestions about improving the state’s air quality to those already identified in submissions to the government’s Clean Air for All Victorians – Victoria’s Air Quality Statement. This was part of the Government’s community consultation on its Air Quality Strategy, which will be released in 2019 and provide clear policies and programs to support clean air in Victoria through to 2030.

The State Member for Williamstown, Wade Noonan, welcomed the Minister’s commitment to the Inner West Air Quality Community Reference Group to help tackle the specific issues facing the Brooklyn community.

Mr Noonan and Labor Candidate for Williamstown, Melissa Horne, made a submission to the first round of the consultation process outlining the unique challenges for Melbourne’s inner west.

A number of initiatives are in place that help strengthen the State’s ability to improve air quality, including:

  • Sealing Bunting and Jones Roads in Brooklyn;
  • Introducing the Environment Protection Act 2018 to strengthen and modernise our environmental framework;
  • Enabling the Environment Protection Authority to prevent pollution before it occurs; and
  • Having harsher penalties to hold polluters to account.

The Victorian Government is supporting this work with $10.8 million over four years.

Quotes attributable to the Member for Williamstown, Wade Noonan:

“Poor air quality impacts on our health and our ability to be active and enjoy the outdoors.”

“We have made decent strides towards cleaner air but there is still much more to be done.”

“Whether it’s dust, transport, industry or shipping, our industrial heritage and proximity to the CBD and the port means Melbourne’s inner west has a range of pollution sources we need to keep in check and the Andrews Labor Government is getting on with that work.”