Mercury Australia network launched at ANU

The Mercury Australia (MA) network has been launched at The Australian National University (ANU) with the goal of assisting Australia to ratify the United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury.   

The new network unites the efforts of Australia’s 20 university researchers studying the presence, use and impacts of mercury in Australia, and seeks to engage with government, industry and the public.

Co-convenors of MA are Dr Larissa Schneider of ANU and Dr Darren Sinclair from the University of Canberra. They say there is not enough high quality, independent research into this dangerous heavy metal in Australia. 

“Research into mercury in Australia is scarce compared to other countries and there is a lack of information on the cycle of mercury” said Dr Schneider. 

Eight Australian universities will contribute research to MA, which aims to determine priority areas for research in Australia as well as better coordinate, consolidate and communicate studies into the use, presence and impacts of mercury in the Australian environment.

Dr Schneider said 128 countries including China, America and the European Union have ratified the UN Convention, which came into force in 2017. 

Although Australia has signed the Convention, it is yet to ratify it. 

“The launch of the Mercury Australia Network is timely as it will be able to provide data and information needed to meet our obligations under the Convention. 

“The work of Mercury Australia will provide quality, independent research that will be available to the public and which we hope will translate into regulation, governance and policy advice for governments,” said Dr Schneider.

First Assistant Secretary to the Department of Environment and Energy, James Tregurtha attended the launch.

“I welcome the formation of Mercury Australia, and look forward to continued contributions from the Australian mercury research community,” he said.

Information, research and findings of Mercury Australia are available on the network’s website:

Dr Larissa Schneider 

School of Culture, History and Language
ANU College of Asia & the Pacific 
T:  + 61 2 61 25 2235
M: + 61 429 088 813

For media assistance contact the ANU Media Team on + 61 2 6125 7979 or Jane Faure-Brac on +61 459 852 243

About The Australian National University

ANU is a world-leading university in Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Our location points to our unique history, ties to the Australian Government and special standing as a resource for the Australian people.

Our focus on research as an asset, and an approach to education, ensures our graduates are in demand the world-over for their abilities to understand, and apply vision and creativity to addressing complex contemporary challenges.

The Australian National University
East Road, Acton
2601 Canberra