Submission

The Centre for Safe Air and Asthma Australia welcome the opportunity to provide a submission to the inquiry into the transition to electric vehicles by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water (the Committee). Our joint submission addresses the Terms of Reference (TOR) most relevant to our shared interest in improving population health outcomes associated with airborne hazards. We note that the TOR did not explicitly include the health or wellbeing impacts of transitioning away from internal combustion engine vehicles. We urge the Committee to actively seek input from health stakeholders to ensure the full range of impacts, including benefits to health and wellbeing, are considered in the Committee’s inquiry and report.
Summary of recommendations 1. Health stakeholders should be invited to comment on the efficacy of Australia’s waste and recycling policies, especially in relation to air quality and health impacts of emissions from waste-to-energy (WtE) processes. 2. A full assessment of the environmental impacts life cycle assessments (LCAs) of WtE plants should be considered on a case-by-case basis to evaluate the risks and benefits of pollutant emissions and less obvious potential impacts on the local and wider community, within the life cycle of WtE and alternative/traditional processes. 3. The establishment of a nationally consistent best-practice approach to monitoring and minimising harmful emissions from WtE processes. 4. National consistency is required to consider health benefits/disbenefits for any new biofuel product including adequate health and toxicity consideration. 5. Consideration be given to the safe recycling and reuse of end-of-life components from low-no carbon technologies such as batteries, PVC panels and wind turbine components.
The Centre for Safe Air advocates for a stringent FES emissions reduction strategy to confer the greatest health benefits for Australians. The Consultation Impact Analysis found that the health benefits of cleaner air associated with Option C ($6.75 billion) are nearly 20% greater than Option B ($5.53 billion). Even subtracting the predicted costs, Option C provides the greatest aggregate benefit to Australians: $18.44 billion more than Option B.
Image of trucks on a highway driving through a yellow field.
In this submission, the Centre for Safe Air provides expert advice regarding the 'Non-Road Diesel Engines Noxious Emission Standards Impact Analysis'.
Given the Centre’s remit, our response to the Strategy is provided in the context of our core focus on clean air. In principle, the Centre supports much of the Strategy content. The Strategy rightly attempts to tackle issues related to the health sector as an energy user and greenhouse gas emissions contributor, as well as the broader need for the health sector to advocate for and engage on programs which relate to public health protection from the effects of climate change. However, each of these require very different solutions, policies, programs and actions. The Centre feels that the Strategy, in draft form, omits important detail from both of these domains.
There is clear evidence that long-term exposure to air pollution is linked to higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes

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