Cleaning up chemical confusion to fight pollution

18 March 2021

The Morrison Government has delivered ground-breaking improvements to the way environmental risks from chemicals are managed in Australia with the passing of the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Bill 2020 in Parliament today.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that with more than 40,000 chemicals used in Australia, the establishment of the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard would provide greater protection for households, workplaces and agriculture.

“Chemicals are used in household items, from cosmetics to paints, cleaning products, plastics and packaging materials. They are used in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and fuel production and a wide range of applications,” Minister Ley said.

“We will now have a consistent system of Commonwealth management that ensures consistency across all states in relation to the use, storage, and disposal of chemicals.

“The legislation recognises the need to act now to reduce the potential for environmental damage, while future-proofing our approach to be able to respond to new chemicals and new scientific understanding.”

The new chemical standards will be placed on an easily searchable public register that will provide a single source of information on how chemicals should be managed, to prevent harm to our unique environment, animals and our communities.

For more information on the landmark chemicals legislation, see the department’s website at: https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/chemicals-management/national-standard.