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After a long wait Minamata close to ratifying

13 Apr 2021

After a wait spanning several years, Australia is on the verge of ratifying the Minamata Convention which will see an end to the importation of mercury-containing lamps.

Federal Assistant Minister Trevor Evans recently called Lighting Council Australia's (LCA) Public Affairs & Environmental Manager, Brodie Easton to inform him of the news that the Final Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury has now been published. A copy of the RIS is available for download, here.

The reasons for the delay in proceeding are not clear but LCA is delighted that progress is now being made. The Treaty will still need to be ratified by a Parliamentary Committee, but no more obstacles are expected.

Further information specific to the lighting sector is available, here. To allow time for owners and operators of streetlights to transition, the RIS proposes Australia seeks an extension on the import deadline for High Pressure Mercury Vapour (HPMV) lamps. This would allow the import of HPMV lamps to Australia until 31 December 2023.

Procrastination at the local government level in switching to LED streetlamps continues to be an issue, as the supply of non-LED lamps will present major problems with the import ban looming. Significant budget allocation and planning from local government is required in order to facilitate bulk public lighting upgrades - Illuminations March '21.

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