Forest Principles Authority Hand-Balls Smoke Complaints to Environment Protection Authority

The Tasmanian Greens today called on the Environment Minister, Brian Wightman, to inform Tasmanians why smoke pollution, particularly PM2.5 particles, have already exceeded the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

Greens Health spokesperson Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP said the FPA has hand-balled the responsibility of responding to complaints from the community in relation to excessive smoke pollution to the EPA.

Mr O’Halloran also said the FPA system allegedly responds to the level of complaints when a proactive and preventative measure that mitigates the need for people to lodge complaints is better for everyone.

“This autumn we have seen the level of the smoke particulate PM2.5 already exceed the safe level standards of the Environment Protection Authority and the World Health Organisation,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“The fact that the issue is not being addressed, but the issue of dealing with complaints from community members is being hand-balled, shows an inherent disrespect for proper process and providing a healthy environment for our citizens.”

“The Minister advises that a draft form is currently underway, with no indication of how long this will take. Communities have, and it seems will continue, to be exposed to this pollution while agency and Department shift responsibility.”

“The Greens take smoke pollution very seriously, especially considering that the current levels are exceeding world health standards. It is high time that the FPA or the EPA, whoever is dealing with it, takes the issue seriously, implements mitigating policies, and lifts the standard of health around our cities and townships,” Mr O’Halloran said.