Air quality monitor for Lake Macquarie
27th April 2020
After a decade of community campaigning led by Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper, an independently-operated air quality monitor will be installed in the local area.
Mr Piper said he was advised by State Environment Minister Matt Kean today that the government will fund construction of a new monitoring station in the Lake Macquarie area.
“This is a significant win not just for the local community, but for the local environment,” Mr Piper said.
“We’ve been asking consecutive State governments for this for more than a decade and finally we have a minister in Matt Kean who has come to understand what the community has been saying.
“Air pollution is a real issue in Lake Macquarie where residents have at times had to contend with dust from coal-fired power station emissions, dust from coal haulage and pollution from other industry sources.
“Emissions are currently measured by about 20 industry monitors but there is no independent ambient air quality monitor operated by the EPA. The closest are at Wyong and Wallsend.
“I’m not criticising those industry monitors, but it’s understandable that people living in this area have genuine concerns about the emissions coming from the power stations and other industries and they need to have faith that it’s being properly monitored and managed.
“Data collected from the industry monitors in addition to this independent monitor will give us the best possible picture on local air quality.”
Minister Kean said he has already opened discussions with Lake Macquarie City Council to find an appropriate site. Community recommendations will also be welcomed, with Mr Piper saying he believed the best location would be in the south-western area of the lake.
Once a site is identified and a lease agreement is signed, NSW Public Works will be allocated the 14-week construction job, meaning the monitor could be operational before the end of the year.