Air pollution

Air pollution contributes to the premature death of more than 3,000 Australians a year, yet air pollution standards fall short of world’s best practice, and polluters are not held accountable for exposing communities to harm.

Cleaning up our air for communities and nature

Old, dirty coal-fired power stations, coal-mining operations, as well as transport, industry and household emissions contaminate the air we breathe and harm human health.

In many Australian communities, air pollution levels frequently exceed current national standards without meaningful consequences for polluters. In other communities, inadequate monitoring means that we don’t know nearly enough about exposure to harmful levels of air pollution. Without better pollution monitoring and enforcement and stricter licensing of polluters many communities will continue to be put at risk.

We must clean up our air and protect our health by setting and enforcing more rigorous standards and mandating technologies that will significantly reduce emissions.

We are calling on the NSW government to:

  • Implement an air pollution reduction strategy across NSW to improve air quality by slashing emissions from industry, transport, households, and fuels.
  • Adopt best-practice air quality standards
  • Slash emissions from coal-fired power stations by installing readily available technology, updating pollution licences and improving emissions monitoring.
  • Make polluters pay, by strengthening the NSW load-based licensing scheme to increase pollution licence fees for harmful pollutants (e.g. SO2, NOx and mercury) and extend the scheme to include the mining industry.
  • Strengthen vehicle emission standards

See further: A Cleaner, Greener NSW – Policies for the 2019 NSW State Election and Beyond


Additional resources

Environmental Justice Australia, Toxic and Terminal - How the Regulation of Coal Fired Power Stations fails Australian Communities

Environmental Justice Australia, Clearing the air - Why Australia urgently needs effective national air pollution laws

Total Environment Centre, Submission on Clean Air for NSW consultation paper



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