By Matthew Sims
Maribyrnong council has outlined its plans to reduce the air quality impacts a large and aging fleet of trucks is having on the respiratory and general health of Maribyrnong’s population.
At its meeting on Tuesday, August 16, council passed a motion to endorse the council’s Air Quality Improvement Plan document.
Maribyrnong councillor Bernadette Thomas said she would recommend residents look at the actions outlined in the plan
“There’s a lot of advocacy actions for council to advocate to other levels of government and to other organisations who can make a difference in this space,” she said.
According to Torrens University’s 2019 Social Health Atlas of Australia, the risk of ischemic heart disease among Maribyrnong residents was 40 per cent higher than average, while the risk of hospital admission for asthma was 41 per cent above average and the risk of Maribyrnong residents suffering a stroke was 40 per cent above average risk of stroke, which was the highest rate across the state.
Hospital admissions for breathing and lung-related illness for young people aged between 3 and 19 are 70 per cent above the Victorian average.
A number of the short-term actions outlined in the report involved the council advocating to the state and federal governments, with outlined actions including advocating to the state government to ban all diesel trucks (except delivery trucks) from residential streets and advocating to the federal government to ban all diesel and petrol vehicle sales by 2030.
Maribyrnong Truck Action Group [MTAG] president Martin Wurt said the group has welcomed the plan’s analysis of the current impacts on air quality and its outline of advocacy actions.
“It’s an emergency situation,” he said.
However, Mr Wurt said the group hoped to receive further reports about the form and results of any advocacy work.
“What we’d like to see is transparency,” he said.