We are committed to supporting liveable communities, healthy environments and the NSW economy by reducing the adverse effects of air pollution on human health. The NSW Clean Air Strategy 2021–2030 outlines actions and integration with other major government initiatives to deliver these objectives. It also takes account of community and stakeholder feedback.
The strategy sets out 5 priority action areas to mitigate community exposure to poor air quality, both during extreme events and on a day-to-day basis. Priority areas in the strategy are:
- better preparedness for pollution events: improve information and how it is communicated to help reduce health impacts of air pollution on NSW communities, including impacts from bushfires, hazard reduction burns and dust storms
- cleaner industry: drive improved management of air emissions by industry
- cleaner transport, engines and fuels: further reduce air emissions and impacts from vehicles, fuels and non-road diesel sources
- healthier households: support reducing air emissions from household activities, with the main priority being wood heater emissions
- better places: reduce impacts of air pollution on communities through better planning and design of places and buildings.
Supporting evidence for the Clean Air Strategy
The Clean Air Strategy is supported by substantial evidence from monitoring, modelling and assessment of population exposure and health impacts from air pollution. The NSW State of the Environment report provides the latest information on air quality and other key environmental issues in New South Wales.
The strategy commits to improving and building the evidence base on air pollution and its health impacts. As new evidence becomes available, it will be used to inform the evaluation of the actions in the Clean Air Strategy. The 4 main areas of evidence and further information are:
Monitoring long-term trends in air quality is important to our understanding of ongoing exposures of NSW populations to pollution and the effectiveness of our strategies. Air quality monitoring information is provided in annual air quality statements and near real-time data are also available for managing personal exposure day-to-day.
Since air pollution comes from many different sources, it is important to know each source's contribution to develop the best approaches for improving air quality. The NSW air emissions inventory lists the amounts of air pollutants emitted from natural and human-made sources in the Greater Metropolitan Region for specific reference years.
Airshed modelling provides information on the dispersion and transformation of emissions and how population exposure varies within an airshed. The ongoing Sydney Air Quality Study uses airshed modelling, air quality monitoring and particle characterisation studies to look at current, past and future population exposure to air pollution.
The latest national and international research, including studies sponsored by the government and tailored to NSW’s needs, inform our understanding of air pollution exposure and the related health impacts. The Environment Protection Authority and NSW Health sponsored a study (PDF 958KB) that investigated the health outcomes of exposure to fine particles from major emission sources.