NSW Clean Air Strategy – 2022 Implementation highlights

The NSW Clean Air Strategy 2021–30 is the whole-of-government approach to improving air quality and health in cities and regions throughout New South Wales.

The strategy was released in February 2022, with progress made during 2022 highlighted in this section. Agencies across NSW Government are delivering the Strategy actions under 5 key priority areas.

Air MonitoringBetter preparedness for pollution events

  • Commitment of $44.8 million over 10 years for the NSW environmental and air quality monitoring program, and $0.85 million ongoing for air quality forecasting enhancements, more deployable monitoring pods and other monitoring resources, and targeted information campaigns.
  • Partnering with the NSW Smart Sensing Network and committing $1.78 million to the OPENAIR project. This will pilot a network of low-cost air quality sensors and equip councils with the latest knowledge and best practice approach to local air quality monitoring.
  • Partnering with Asthma Australia on its AirSmart communications pilot to test effective messaging on air quality alerts, warnings and information in the community.


Clean industryCleaner industry

  • The new Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2022 sets stricter air emission standards for aging industries, and emission limits and controls for volatile liquids in storage tanks.
  • 3,132 MW of renewable generation capacity (as of 31 October 2022) and short term storage committed or commissioned under the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, tracking above the minimum needed to meet the 2030 target.
  • Grant funding under the Hydrogen Hub initiative increased from $70 million to $150 million. Ten projects shortlisted from an expression of interest round proposing up to $6 billion in potential investment, with projects in the Hunter, Illawarra and regional NSW.
  • Update of the NSW Energy from Waste Policy Statement to ensure NSW air emissions standards for these projects meet and exceed world best practice.
  • Thermal treatment of waste for energy recovery prohibited under the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2022, unless it is in a nominated precinct or specified exemptions apply.


Electric carCleaner transport, engines and fuels

  • Implementation of the NSW Electric Vehicles Strategy continued, with completion of round 1 of the fleet program, $39.4 million committed to 86 charging stations, and commissioning of the first chargers on the NSW South Coast under destination charging grants.
  • Release of the Future Transport Strategy including the vision to improve air quality outcomes for the people of New South Wales.
  • $3 billion announced under the Zero Emission Buses program, including to purchase over 1,200 new buses, convert 11 existing depots for electric charging and build a new depot in Macquarie Park.
  • $20 million in grant funding announced by New South Wales and Victoria to support demonstration of a zero-emissions freight model along the Hume Highway, as part of a nation-leading agreement to establish an east coast hydrogen refuelling network.
  • 25 NSW government agencies reported compliance with Government Resource Efficiency Policy requirements regarding cleaner mobile non-road diesel plant and equipment in purchasing, leasing and contracting decisions.


Healthy HouseholdHealthier households

  • Commenced work on updating the Local Government Air Quality Toolkit to support local council officers to effectively manage air quality in their communities.
  • Increase of Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) thermal performance and energy efficiency standards as of 1 October 2023 through the new State Environmental Planning Policy (Sustainable Buildings) 2022, making new homes warmer in winter and encouraging installation of clean and energy-efficient heating systems such as reverse cycle air-conditioners.


Better cityBetter places

  • Updated Eastern Harbour City Strategic Cycleway Corridor program released in April 2022.
  • Work commenced on developing strategic cycleway corridor networks for Central River City and Western Parklands City, including initial consultation with local councils and bike user groups.
  • Active Transport Strategy developed and 6 pilot studies commenced in Greater Sydney for 15-minute walkable neighbourhoods.
  • Achieved the goal to plant 1 million trees almost 2 months early, with the 1 millionth tree planted on 5 November 2022.