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Make a submisssion: Victorian inquiry into the health impacts of air pollution

The Victorian Parliament is currently conducting an Inquiry into the Health Impacts of Air Pollution, and they're taking public submissions now. The more submissions they receive, the more likely the Victorian Government will take action to reduce pollution and protect health!

Smoke stack with smoke clouds

Friends of the Earth member group, Health Futures, have put together these helpful instructions to put together your submission by 11:59PM on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

  1. Open this page in a new browser tab:

  2. Read the information on the page, then click "Start"

  3. Enter your contact details, then click "Next"

  4. Write your submission. You can write anything related to the Committee's terms of reference (which are pretty broad). We encourage you to structure your submission like this:

    • introduce yourself and why you care about this issue - the more personal the better as this will impress the Committee

    • describe the problem from your point of view. For inspiration feel free to check out the information in the People's Clean Air Action Plan for Victoria - either the summary or the full version

    • specify the solution(s) you want the Victorian Government to implement. We recommend asking the Government to adopt the recommendations of the People's Clean Air Action Plan for Victoria. You can download a full copy of the Action Plan here, upload it as an attachment to your submission and ask the Government to follow its recommendations. And/or, you can mention any of the following recommendations (below), copied and pasted from the People's Clean Air Action Plan for Victoria, that are most important to you
    • Attach any files that you think might be useful for your submission (e.g. the People's Clean Air Action Plan for Victoria).

  5. If you feel comfortable, tick the box confirming that you're interested in meeting the Committee in person to discuss your submission - this could be quite powerful.

  6. Click "Next"

  7. Fill out the last page of the form as you see fit.

  8. Click "Submit".

  9. Please email a copy of your submission to [email protected] as we can use these submissions to help our future advocacy.

  10. Please ask your friends, family and colleagues to make a submission as well by visiting this page:


By September 2021, establish a comprehensive plan that sets out specific and enforceable obligations for coal-fired power station operators to achieve Best Available Control Technology (BACT) emissions levels, including the following elements:

  • BACT short and medium-term emissions limits for PM10, PM2.5, SO2, NOx, and Hg.
  • Continuous emission monitoring (CEMS) for CO2, PM2.5, SO2, NOx, and Hg, to be installed, maintained and operated, with real-time posting on a publicly available website.
  • A requirement that CEMS be maintained and operated in accordance with international best practices, including annual relative accuracy test audits and quarterly relative accuracy audits.
  • Use of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) “non-nulling” or the equivalent reference method to measure stack flow rate of stack gases.
  • A maintenance plan, with specified replacement of parts at intervals based conservatively on prior maintenance history and on-site storage of critical components affecting emissions (such as filter bags, SO2 and NOx reagents).
  • An immediate reduction in generation to the lowest level necessary to maintain grid stability and initiation of shutdown procedures for any malfunction that cannot be resolved within a specified period of time.
  • The use of the cleanest available fuels during any period where a pollution control is not operational (e.g., before the unit reaches the operating temperature needed by its selective catalytic reduction (SCR)). Immediate reporting of any upset conditions to the agency and the public. The agency should thereafter investigate and post the results of its review.
  • Shutdown of the unit if monitoring device availability falls below acceptable levels.


By September 2021, develop a comprehensive plan to reduce vehicle pollution, with a focus on vehicle pollution hotspots, including the following elements:

  • Low emissions/cleanair zones targeting diesel freight trucks in high-traffic urban areas.
  • Anti-idling regulations to require engines be stopped when a vehicle is stationary for more than 1 minute, particularly near vulnerable community locations such as schools and childcare centres.
  • A levy or restricted access to the Port of Melbourne for non-Euro6/VIcompliant heavy vehicles.
  • Incentives for freight operators to upgrade to Euro 6/VI compliant vehicles.
  • A commitment to revise urban planning in ports areas with a view to achieving clean air outcomes.

Wood Heaters

By September 2021, implement a plan to phase-out wood heaters, including the following elements:

  • Progressive restrictions on the use of wood heaters during periods of increased air pollution risk and/or unfavourable weather conditions.
  • Require the removal of wood heaters from homes upon sale.
  • Subsidise insulation upgrades and heat pump installations for houses that remove wood heaters.

Air Quality Monitoring

By September 2021, develop an air quality monitoring plan that increases the level of, and access to, air quality monitoring and information, including by:

  • Installing and/or increasing permanent air quality monitoring stations in every community that is near a major industrial source of pollution, such as coal-fired power stations. Implementing localised monitoring networks in areas with large traffic flow and with high wood-burning heater usage, including the use of low-cost monitors.
  • Ensuring access to monitoring data be made available in real-time, on a single website maintained by the EPA.
  • Ensuring both current and historical data be made available in downloadable datasets to coincide with the implementation of the Environment Protection Act 2018.
  • Funding and implementing an AirSmart health promotion campaign to minimise the health impacts of poor air quality.

A Victorian Inventory

Action: The Victorian EPA to complete and publicly release the Victorian air pollution inventory by September 2021, and to update it at least every 3 years.

Action: By September 2021, coal mine and coal-fired power station pollution to be reported separately in the National Pollutant Inventory.

Once you have written your submission, please copy it so that you can send a copy to [email protected] afterwards. We would like to keep copies of submissions everyone's made so that we can use them as advocacy tools in future (if you're comfortable with that).

If you have any questions please email [email protected] or call Harry on 0417 418 225 and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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