Darren Chester MP: Ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury to protect community from increased exposure in Latrobe Valley and Gippsland Lakes
We are calling on you to support the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. So far, the convention has been ratified by 131 countries around the world.
Australia signed the Minamata Convention in October 2013, but is yet to ratify it, which would bind Australia under international law to meet the Convention’s obligations.
Mercury pollution poses a significant and ongoing threat to human health and the environment.
As mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin, it is extremely concerning that mercury levels in the Latrobe Valley environment are 14 times higher than what’s typically natural for the region.This can be largely attributed to the air pollution being generated by the Latrobe Valley’s coal fired power stations, which continues to have significant impacts on not only the health of the local townships but also on the health of those downstream as far as the Gippsland Lakes.
In 2020, the total health cost of Australian mercury emissions was estimated at approximately $52.7 million.
The ratification of the Minamata convention on Mercury would mandate interventions which would reduce exposure to dangerous mercury pollution.
You can find more information about the Minamata Convention here.