Everyone has a right to breathe clean air. But right now our laws are failing to protect that right at the expense of our health.

Each year, more than 3000 Australians die from exposure to air pollution – that’s more than twice the national road toll. Thousands more suffer serious health issues like stroke, lung cancer and heart disease from breathing in toxic air pollution.

The vast majority of air pollution in Australia comes from ageing coal-fired power stations and motor vehicles. Unlike most other countries, Australia’s laws, regulations and standards for these two sources of toxic pollution are incredibly weak.

Right now, we have a once-in-a-generation chance for Australia to catch up with the rest of the world on pollution control. For the first time in 21 years, our federal, state and territory environment ministers are meeting to review national air pollution standards for nitrogen and sulfur dioxides – some of the most toxic air pollutants.

We must make sure that ministers hear us loud and clear and commit to voting for strict health-based standards. See how your Environment Minister stacks up on pollution standards below and take action to secure their vote. 

How does your Minister stack up?

The Minister has committed to strong health-based standards

The Minister is engaged and could be persuaded on strong health-based standards

The Minister has not engaged on strong health-based standards

Read more about Minister D'Ambrosio's position

In 2015, the Victorian Labor Government implemented the strictest standards for particulate matter pollution. Lily D’Ambrosio is generally supportive of action to control pollution and we believe that Minister D’Ambrosio can be a champion for health-based standards. Minister D’Ambrosio’s office is engaging with EJA. The Minister has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.
Lily D’Ambrosio,
VIC Minister for Environment,
Energy and Climate Change
Strong health-based standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Strong health-based standards for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Best-practice air pollution monitoring
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Read more about Minister D'Ambrosio's position

In 2015, the Victorian Labor Government implemented the strictest standards for particulate matter pollution. Lily D’Ambrosio is generally supportive of action to control pollution and we believe that Minister D’Ambrosio can be a champion for health-based standards. Minister D’Ambrosio’s office is engaging with EJA. The Minister has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.

Read more about Minister Kean's position

NSW has some big air pollution problems, particularly in the Hunter Valley and around Lake Macquarie. Minister Kean has demonstrated interest in learning about World Health Organisation air quality guideline standards and practical solutions for pollution control when in discussion with EJA. He has engaged with EJA and the Australian Medical Association. Minister Kean has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.
Matt Kean,
NSW Minister for Environment and Energy
Strong health-based standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Strong health-based standards for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Best-practice air pollution monitoring
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Read more about Minister Kean's position

NSW has some big air pollution problems, particularly in the Hunter Valley and around Lake Macquarie. Minister Kean has demonstrated interest in learning about World Health Organisation air quality guideline standards and practical solutions for pollution control when in discussion with EJA. He has engaged with EJA and the Australian Medical Association. Minister Kean has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.

Read more about Minister Enoch's position

Queensland has some air pollution problems around coal-fired power stations and the metal smelter in Mount Isa. The Labor state government took three years to adopt new standards for particulate matter. QLD’s recorded concentrations of NO2 are below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. Minister Enoch has engaged with EJA and representatives from the Australian Medical Association. She has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.
Leeanne Enoch,
QLD Minister for Environment,
Great Barrier Reef and Science
Strong health-based standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Strong health-based standards for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Best-practice air pollution monitoring
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Read more about Minister Enoch's position

Queensland has some air pollution problems around coal-fired power stations and the metal smelter in Mount Isa. The Labor state government took three years to adopt new standards for particulate matter. QLD’s recorded concentrations of NO2 are below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. Minister Enoch has engaged with EJA and representatives from the Australian Medical Association. She has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.

Read more about Minister Gutwein's position

Tasmania does not monitor for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide pollution because the state’s air is generally clean. Tasmania’s air pollution problems are primarily caused by wood heaters (particulate matter). The Zinc Smelter in Hobart is also a source of SO2. Tasmania was one of the states that adopted the strictest standards for particulate matter pollution in 2015, so Minister Gutwein should vote for health-based standards again this time. Minister Gutwein’s office is engaging with EJA. The Minister has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.
Peter Gutwein,
TAS Minister for Environment
Strong health-based standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Strong health-based standards for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Best-practice air pollution monitoring
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Read more about Minister Gutwein's position

Tasmania does not monitor for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide pollution because the state’s air is generally clean. Tasmania’s air pollution problems are primarily caused by wood heaters (particulate matter). The Zinc Smelter in Hobart is also a source of SO2. Tasmania was one of the states that adopted the strictest standards for particulate matter pollution in 2015, so Minister Gutwein should vote for health-based standards again this time. Minister Gutwein’s office is engaging with EJA. The Minister has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.

Read more about Minister Dawson's position

The WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has no reason to vote against health-based standards for NO2 and SO2, as WA’s recorded concentrations of these pollutants is below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. Unfortunately, Minister Dawson has so far declined to meet with EJA to discuss the adoption of health-based air pollution standards.
Stephen Dawson,
WA Minister for Environment
Strong health-based standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Strong health-based standards for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Best-practice air pollution monitoring
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Read more about Minister Dawson's position

Minister Dawson has no reason to vote against health-based standards for NO2 and SO2, as WA’s recorded concentrations of these pollutants is below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. Minister Dawson’s office is engaging with EJA. The Minister has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.

Read more about Minister Gentleman's position

EJA cannot foresee any reason why Minister Gentleman would vote against health-based standards for NO2 and SO2. The ACT’s recorded concentrations of these pollutants is well-below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. In 2015, the ACT voted for and implemented the strictest standards for particulate matter pollution. Minister Gentlemen’s office has engaged with EJA. The Minister has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards
Mick Gentleman,
ACT Minister for Environment and Heritage
Strong health-based standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Strong health-based standards for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Best-practice air pollution monitoring
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Read more about Minister Gentleman's position

EJA cannot foresee any reason why Minister Gentleman would vote against health-based standards for NO2 and SO2. The ACT’s recorded concentrations of these pollutants is well-below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. In 2015, the ACT voted for and implemented the strictest standards for particulate matter pollution. Minister Gentlemen’s office has engaged with EJA. The Minister has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards

Read more about Minister Lawler's position

Eva Lawler has no reason to vote against health-based standards for NO2 and SO2, as the NT’s recorded concentrations of these pollutants is well-below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. Minister Lawler’s office has engaged with EJA. The Minister has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.
Eva Lawler,
NT Minister for Environment, Natural
Resources and Climate Change
Strong health-based standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Strong health-based standards for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Best-practice air pollution monitoring
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Read more about Minister Lawler's position

Minister Lawler has no reason to vote against health-based standards for NO2 and SO2, as the NT’s recorded concentrations of these pollutants is well-below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. Minister Lawler has engaged with EJA. The Minister has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.

Read more about Minister Speirs' position

South Australia no longer has any coal-fired power stations, but it does still have very high concentrations of SO2 in Port Pirie due to the lead smelter. SA’s recorded concentrations of NO2 are below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. Minister Speirs’ office has engaged with EJA. Minister Speirs has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.
David Speirs,
SA Minister for Environment and Water
Strong health-based standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Strong health-based standards for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Best-practice air pollution monitoring
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Read more about Minister Speirs' position

South Australia no longer has any coal-fired power stations, but it does still have very high concentrations of SO2 in Port Pirie due to the lead smelter. SA’s recorded concentrations of NO2 are below the health-based thresholds proposed by Australia’s health community. Minister Speirs’ office has engaged with EJA. Minister Speirs has not yet expressed a public position endorsing health-based air pollution standards.

Read more about Minister Ley's position

Tighter air pollution standards was a “signature objective” of Greg Hunt when he was Environment Minister, so this is one issue where the Federal Government could exercise real leadership. Sussan Ley is a former health minister, so she would be familiar with and understanding of the adverse health impacts of air pollution. So far Minister Ley has declined to meet with EJA to discuss air pollution standards. She suggested EJA meet with the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy instead. The Department has engaged with EJA, but has not expressed a position on health-based air pollution standards.
Sussan Ley,
Federal Environment Minister
Strong health-based standards for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Strong health-based standards for Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Best-practice air pollution monitoring
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Read more about Minister Ley's position

Tighter air pollution standards was a “signature objective” of Greg Hunt when he was Environment Minister, so this is one issue where the Federal Government could exercise real leadership. Sussan Ley is a former health minister, so she would be familiar with and understanding of the adverse health impacts of air pollution. So far Minister Ley has declined to meet with EJA to discuss air pollution standards. She suggested EJA meet with the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy instead. The Department has engaged with EJA, but has not expressed a position on health-based air pollution standards.
READ MORE ABOUT AIR POLLUTION STANDARDS