Why is air quality important?
Air quality affects our environment, health, and the livability of our cities and towns. Air pollution, especially from human activity, may cause health problems that affect the heart and lungs, and has the possibility of causing cancer.
Even short-term exposure to air pollution can cause health problems. Children, the elderly and people with existing heart and lung conditions are especially affected by air pollution.
How is Australia tracking?
By world standards Australia has very clean air, but there is still work to do. Challenges to maintaining and improving our air quality include population growth, more people living in cities, and growing demand for energy and transportation.
Who manages air quality in Australia?
All levels of government play a role in managing Australia’s air quality.
To help ensure a clean air future, Australia’s Environment Ministers established the National Clean Air Agreement to help governments prioritise national actions to address air quality issues.
State and territories have primary responsibility for monitoring and managing air quality in their jurisdictions. They monitor and report against national ambient (outdoor) air quality standards that protect health. They also have legislation and strategies in place to manage air quality, including for point source emissions from a particular industry or facility where local circumstances play a key role.
The Australian Government takes a lead role in national issues such as fuel quality and vehicle emissions as well as implementing Australia’s international obligations. In addition the Australian Government is able to take a national approach on issues that have been identified by all Australian governments and includes the decision to manage noxious emissions from outdoor powered equipment and propulsion marine engines through the Product Emissions Standards Act 2017 and Product Emissions Standards Rules 2017
Local governments respond to local air pollution issues like wood heater smoke and undertake activities to raise awareness about household activities that can impact on air quality.
Current air quality as of now
Currently, the air quality within Australia is listed as "Good" for both the Florey and Monash air quality stations, and as "Very Good" at the Civic air quality station. For more information, and a live update as to what the air quality is like at the time of reading, do check out this useful link here.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.