Pedestrian Council of Australia
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health


Media Release

Thursday 5 June 2006
2006 Transport Fact Sheet

Chief health Officer Denise Robinson told a public inquiry at Parliament House in September 2006, that between 600 and 1400 deaths every year could be attributed at least partly to Sydney's air pollution (Hansard: 11 September 2006)


  • According to the Australian Government, studies show there are serious personal health and social consequences of high levels of car travel. There is further concern that Australians may be 'building in' car dependency to our children, making our problems much worse in the future (


  • Cars contribute 8% of national emissions. The fuel used by cars increased by 19% from 1990 to 2003 and their related emissions increased by 25% in the same period (


·         According to the Australian Government, the number of vehicles on the roads has increased by 60% in

20 years.


  • The Department of Environment and Heritage says: “The impact of air toxics is a significant environmental issue. These are gaseous, aerosol or particulate pollutants which are present in the air in low concentrations but which may be a hazard to human, plant or animal life. They are emitted from a wide range of sources, including combustion processes. Motor vehicles are a dominant source. While all Australians are exposed to some level of air toxics, the highest concentrations are found in urban areas.” (Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage,2005)


·         The particles in car exhaust fumes are like those present in smoke from bushfires and industry.  They can cause cardiopulmonary disease and asthma and lung cancer mortality.  (Environmental Protection Agency, BTRE (2005) Health impacts of transport emissions in Australia


  • According to the Asthma Foundation NSW, 2.2 million people have asthma, including 1 in 6 children and 1 in 10 adults. Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterised by recurrent breathing problems and symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. ( 




Walk to Work Day is an initiative of the Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA). It is sponsored by the Australian Government and supported by each State and Territory Government.

Walk to Work Day is also supported by the Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia, the Cancer Council and beyondblue.

For more information about Walk to Work Day, visit