Legalized pollution : the PIRG report on pollution control laws in Queensland.

Public Interest Research Group (Qld.) Legalized pollution : the PIRG report on pollution control laws in Queensland.. St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press., 1973.

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Author Public Interest Research Group (Qld.)
Title Legalized pollution : the PIRG report on pollution control laws in Queensland.
Place of Publication St. Lucia, Qld.
Publisher University of Queensland Press.
Publication year 1973
Sub-type Other
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
ISBN 0702207977
Language eng
Total number of pages 176
Subjects 390107 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
640400 Prevention and Treatment of Pollution
Formatted Abstract/Summary


Pollution kills. Its other achievements include causing ill health, corroding structures, damaging crops and even changing climates. It has been doing this for a long time; but only recently, as the pursuit of economic growth has attained suicidal levels, has the public and its political suitors risen to the challenge. That this challenge has so far been misdirected, half-hearted and largely ineffective is the theme of this report. The need for immediate escalation of the war against pollution can be perceived through study of the well-documented facts on the causes and effects of pollution: anyone in doubt should consult the growing number of pollution victims, who are suffering from bronchitis, asthma or lead poisoning. Details can be found in Vanishing Air, the Ralph Nader study group report on air pollution, directed by John C. Esposito (Grossman, New York, 1970), and in Air Pollution, by Allan Gilpin (University of Queensland Press, 1970).

People setting out to do something about the pollution problem face formidable barriers. One of the biggest is the economic and political strength of polluters. The corporate sector, guilty party in many cases of blatant transgression of public health and safety, has not proved responsive to changes in the public's values, even where these are backed by government regulations. The growth of the Nader movement in the U.S.A. and of consumer associations in Australia is a direct result of the general insensitivity of the corporate sector to the people on whom it depends for its existence. In the case of pollution, it would be reasonable to expect companies at the very least to review the effect on the environment of every one of their policy decisions. To date, this has not happened; nor has business generally taken the initiative in preventing adverse effects of its actions on the environment. State owned enterprises have shown their profit-oriented cohorts little guidance in these matters.

Faced with this situation the U.S.A., U.K., Australian, and Queensland governments have introduced useful laws designed to control pollution. Further, government bodies such as the National Air Pollution Control Authority (N.A.P.C.A.) in America, the department of the Environment in Britain, and the Air Pollution Centre in Queensland, have been set up with a view to combatting polluters. But Vanishing Air showed that U.S.A. anti-pollution laws were not being enforced, and that, like many other regulatory bodies, the N.A.P.C.A. was incapable of protecting and advancing the public interest against polluters.

This report shows that the Queensland public is not necessarily served any better than is the U.S. public.

What, then, is to be done? The P.I.R.G. report is part of the answer. It discusses where responsibility for pollution lies, and how successful (or unsuccessful) government control has been.

Independent, agitative action by dedicated and concerned people can help to reduce the extent of corporate violence toward the public. For the rest, only by better education and sustained participation of people in economic and political affairs can mankind hope to survive the coming crisis of the environment. This applies to Queensland as much as to anywhere in the world: pollution is not something that occurs only in Los Angeles and Tokyo.

Keyword Pollution -- Law and legislation -- Queensland
Environmental law -- Queensland
Water -- Pollution -- Law and legislation -- Queensland
Air -- Pollution -- Law and legislation -- Queensland
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Permission received from University of Queensland Press to make this item publicly available on 5th June 2013

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Created: Wed, 12 May 2010, 15:49:00 EST by Muhammad Noman Ali on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service