In 2009 the NSW government announced a partnership between government agencies and the mining and power industries to establish the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network. The planned network would include up to 14 air-quality (dust) monitoring stations which will also monitor wind speed and wind direction.
Following the announcement, the former NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) held community consultation meetings to communicate the rationale for the network, explain the partnership between industry and government, and gauge whether the planned network met the expectations of the community. The community information and consultation meetings were held on 17 November 2009 at Singleton Civic Centre and 18 November 2009 at Muswellbrook Council Administration Centre.
At these meetings, participants raised a number of issues and posed a number of questions. The following questions and answers represent a synthesis of the major issues raised in these two public meetings.
Some of the key outcomes from community consultation were:
- a network advisory committee will be established and will include community representatives from local government areas to facilitate community concerns. Membership of the committee will also include industry, government and local government representatives
- Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (former OEH), with advice from the network advisory committee, will regularly review the need to relocate monitors or establish new monitoring sites, due to inevitable changes in mining operations.
These questions and answers should be read in conjunction with the former OEH fact sheet Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network (PDF 219KB) (November 2009).
In the questions and answers PM10 means air particles with a diameter less than 10 microns (or ten millionths of a metre) and PM2.5means particles with a diameter less than 2.5 microns.