BRIEF – 9 March 2010 – A report from the NSW Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water which projects Sydney’s air quality to 2026 indicates that zone levels in Sydney haven’t improved and will worsen over the next 15 years unless the government acts now, Total Environment Centre director Jeff Angel said.

He warned state political parties to get ready for a public health emergency.

In a media statement Mr Angel said:

“The next state election will be held during the hottest months in January, February, and March in 2011 which means poor air quality will be an obvious and very real political embarrassment,” Mr Angel said.

“The report indicated that Ozone was the third most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide and methane, and the prime component of smog, which is caused by the reaction of auto and industrial emissions with sunlight.

“It will take 10 years to get better public transport and a mainstream switch to hybrids and electric cars.

“Car emissions are the single largest contributor to ozone levels, so the NSW state government had better use the next decade to fix up the mess.”

“Population growth will boost petrochemical smog in Sydney to dangerous levels.

“Hundreds and thousands of people will be potentially harmed by respiratory problems, affecting ears, eyes, nose, throat and lungs. The opening up of major new housing developments in Western Sydney will only make matters worse.”