A whopping 17,000 submissions were made to the review of Australia’s national air pollution standards which closed earlier in August.

This is an incredible achievement!

Thousands of community members from across the country called for stricter standards to protect community health along with us here at EJA, the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), the Lung Foundation of Australia (LFA), Asthma Australia (AA), the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA), the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ), and other key public health organisations.

Our campaign four years ago saw several ministers adopting stricter standards. But we didn’t get everyone across the line, and communities across Australia are still experiencing dangerous levels of particle pollution.

It’s great to see such huge support for stricter air pollution standards.

This campaign is only just beginning.

In December, state, territory and federal environment ministers will meet to decide on what new standards will be set.

The Guardian reported recently that power stations in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and New South Wales’s Lake Macquarie region have been named on a list of the world’s biggest hotspots for toxic air pollution.

We have to make sure that ministers hear us loud and clear, and commit to voting for strict health-based standards.

Our Clean Air team will be writing to all ministers, letting them know there’s huge public interest in the outcome of their decision, and briefing them on the standards that health experts recommend to protect the wellbeing of Australians.

We’ll keep you updated every step of the way.

If ministers fail to endorse and commit to health-based standards, we will escalate the pressure on them, with letters, emails, phone calls, twitter storms, media, and public actions.

This is one of the best opportunities we have to strengthen air pollution standards in our country. Your continued support will be essential in holding our leaders to task.

Let’s not leave the outcome to chance.

– Maxwell Smith, EJA Clean Air Campaigner.