Air quality monitoring network
New South Wales operates Australia's most comprehensive air quality monitoring network, with more than 90 monitoring sites across the State. See our most recent station numbers (XLSX 51KB). The major air quality monitoring networks operate in these regions:
- Greater Sydney
- Lower Hunter
- Upper Hunter
- Greater New South Wales including the North West Slopes, Northern Tablelands, North Coast, Central Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands and South-West Slopes
- Rural New South Wales including central and western NSW, north west Victoria and east South Australia.
Review of air quality monitoring
The NSW Government continually reviews its air quality monitoring activity. The formal reviews are conducted independently, and publicly available reports have been published:
- Reviews of industry-funded monitoring networks in the Hunter region.
- A best practice review on the design of background air quality monitoring stations.
The NSW Air Quality Monitoring Plan, which was first established in 2001, is reviewed annually, with major reviews conducted every 5 years. The most recent review takes into account the 2011 Review of the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure 2011, and is guided by recommendations from the Air NEPM Review Expert Working Group’s 2015 project, Review of Air Quality Monitoring Network Design.
The updated NSW Air Quality Monitoring Plan
The updated Plan:
- now includes all types of air quality monitoring networks in New South Wales, including NEPM and industry-funded networks.
- identifies network gaps in growing population centres in regional NSW, the NSW North Coast, and the current Sydney network. It proposes methods such as low-cost sensors for particle monitoring to fill these gaps.
- identifies all Australian Bureau of Statistics Significant Urban Areas (SUAs) in New South Wales with populations over 25,000, the pollutant monitoring currently conducted in each and trends in specific pollutant levels.
- addresses population size rather than population risk, as a national framework for risk-based assessment is yet to be finalised.
Under the Air Quality Monitoring Plan 2020-25, air quality monitoring sub-regions are defined for the Greater Sydney Region in reference to the Greater Sydney Commission's metropolis of 3 cities, i.e., Eastern Harbour City, Central River City and Western Parkland City. There are 4 sub-regions: East Sydney, Central West Sydney, and North West and South West Sydney respectively.
The air quality website and alert system will continue to use current names until the necessary technical modifications are completed.
Read the NSW Air Quality Monitoring Plan:
- Method for creating plans
- Air Quality Monitoring Plan for the Albury-Wodonga Region 2020-25
- Air Quality Monitoring Plan for the Central Coast Region 2020-25
- Air Quality Monitoring Plan for the Greater Sydney Region 2020-25
- Air Quality Monitoring Plan for the Illawarra Region 2020-25
- Air Quality Monitoring Plan for the Lower Hunter Region 2020-25