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Current and forecast air quality

News: Dedicated air quality website

The NSW Government is developing a dedicated air quality website, that presents air quality data and information that is fit-for-purpose, easy-to-understand and works well on desktop and mobile devices. We invite you to try our first release.

Our demo release is ready

We are pleased to launch the demo release of our new dedicated air quality website, now available at Air Quality NSW.

In this demo, we have released our near-real-time air quality data pages for a better user experience. Future releases will progressively migrate the remaining scientific information from the Environment, Energy and Science (EES) website to this new website.

During the transition, the new website will run in parallel with the existing air quality pages, with the new website being refined in stages. There are links to and from the old (existing) and new websites to allow you to find out what your local air quality is and to access it in your preferred format.

Initially you can continue to use the existing air quality webpages for access to the full scope of our air quality services. In particular, you may visit:

Why we’ve made this upgrade

The new air quality website is a key deliverable for the NSW Government's Air Program under the Enhancing air quality website and data delivery service project. The new website is designed to ensure that all NSW Government air quality data and information is more freely available, and easily accessible by the community, researchers and decision makers.

We aim to make your web experience simple, efficient and relevant to your needs.

Experience the first release and give us your feedback

We invite you to visit the new website and let us know about your experience.

There are two ways you can provide us your feedback:

  • from the new website: use the Your Feedback widget on the home page, or select Contact us from the footer of any page on the new website
  • from the EES website: use Your feedback or complaint

What are the main changes to how air quality data are presented?

There are changes to air quality region definitions and other concepts applied to the new website.

New air quality monitoring regions

The existing (old) website presents data from the NSW Air Quality Monitoring Network by six major sub-networks, guided by the air quality airsheds identified in the NSW Air Quality Monitoring Plan first established in 2001.

On the new website, air quality data are now presented for 19 monitoring regions across the network, in line with the updated NSW Air Quality Monitoring Plan. Air quality monitoring regions have been defined to align the previously identified air quality airsheds with current  environmental planning regions. This approach of integrating air quality airsheds with planning regions will make it easier to incorporate air quality information into environmental planning.

You can follow the link to a region, below, to access relevant data and information for that region, and the stations within.

Air quality monitoring region


Central Coast

The monitoring region is based on the Central Coast planning region, which includes the Central Coast Local Government Area (LGA). The monitoring region is bounded by the Hawkesbury River to the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west, and the southern end of Lake Macquarie in the north.

Central Tablelands

The monitoring region includes the regional hubs of Bathurst and Orange and extends to Cowra to the southwest. The Central Tablelands is bordered to the east by the Blue Mountains UNESCO World Heritage Area.

Central West NSW

The monitoring region is based on the Central West section of the Central West and Orana planning region. The area is known for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

Far West

The monitoring region is the largest across the monitoring network. The region borders Queensland to the north, South Australia to the west and Victoria to the south. The region includes Broken Hill and Mungo National Park, part of the Willandra Lakes Region UNESCO World Heritage Area.


The monitoring region includes Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Gerringong. The region’s northern extent is Garie Beach in the Royal National Park and is bordered by the Illawarra Escarpment to the west and Durras Lake to the south.

Lake Macquarie

The monitoring region is bordered by Newcastle to the north, the Central Coast to the south and the Watagan Mountains to the west. It is part of the Hunter planning region.

Lower Hunter

The monitoring region includes the metropolitan Newcastle area, the second most populous city in NSW.

Mid-North Coast

The monitoring region encompasses the southern part of the North Coast planning region and is bordered by the Great Dividing Range to the west and the Tasman Sea to the east. The region includes the major regional cities of Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.

Northern Rivers

Bordering Queensland, the monitoring region includes the most easterly point of the Australian mainland at Byron Bay. It encompasses the northern part of the North Coast planning region.

Northern Tablelands

The monitoring region is situated in the New England North West planning region. Parts of the region are elevated, and areas including Armidale can receive snow during winter.

North West Slopes

The monitoring region is known for its agricultural land and the Tamworth Country Music Festival. The region extends north to the Queensland border and to the Great Dividing Range in the east.


The monitoring region is known for its agricultural production in the Riverina. The region borders Victoria at the Murray River to the south, the Australian Capital Territory and Snowy Mountains to the east and extends to the Far West.

South Coast

The monitoring region extends from Durras Lake in the north to the Victoria border in the south and west to the Great Dividing Range. Population centres include Batemans Bay, Bega and Merimbula.

Southern Tablelands

The monitoring region extends south-west from Greater Sydney to the Victorian border in the Snowy Mountains in the Kosciuszko National Park.

Sydney (Central West)

The monitoring region is based around the Western Sydney hub of Parramatta and surrounding suburbs in Sydney. The region extends from Lidcombe in the east to Rouse Hill in the north-west.

Sydney (East)

The monitoring region primarily covers coastal areas of Sydney, including the Eastern Suburbs and Inner West. It stretches from Randwick in the east to Earlwood and Macquarie Park in the west.

Sydney (North West)

The monitoring region is bound by the Blue Mountains to the west and the Hawkesbury/Nepean River to the north. It includes major suburbs such as Penrith and Richmond.

Sydney (South West)

The monitoring region extends from Bargo in the south, Oakdale in the west and Liverpool to the north. The region is bound by the Georges River to the east.

Upper Hunter

The monitoring region extends from Merriwa in the west to near Broke in the southeast and includes Singleton and Muswellbrook. The region is bordered by Barrington Tops to the north and Wollemi and Yengo National Parks to the south.

Air quality categories introduced for rural network stations

Data from rural air quality monitoring stations on the current website are reported as hourly averages, primarily for Local Land Services (LLS) or Catchment Management Authority (CMA) areas. The reporting for rural stations is now integrated with the broader network of air quality monitoring stations. This means that on the new website, the LLS/CMA classifications are no longer used for rural stations, which are now included in the new air quality monitoring regions.

Air quality categories have also been introduced when reporting data from the rural stations.

No air quality categories reported for visibility measurements

There is no nationally agreed threshold for categorising visibility data. In consultation with NSW Health, we will no longer report air quality categories for visibility data on the new website.

Related definitions

The new website reports data collected across the network for different monitoring purposes. The information below should help you understand the relevant terminologies used on the new website.

  • Incident monitoring may occur in response to incidental or emergency air pollution situations. Monitoring is often short-term, ranging from a few days to a few months, and is commissioned to assess air quality impacts of incident-related air emissions.
  • Low-cost sensors refer to the application of low-cost sensors to obtain indicative air quality information in an area, in contrast to the use of other more sophisticated and often expensive monitors. Data from low-cost sensors are currently not reported on this website.
  • Research monitoring serves specific research projects, where the monitoring period can vary significantly across projects, but is often longer than an incident monitoring activity.
  • Roadside monitoring collects air quality data near major roads with high traffic volumes. This monitoring provides data to help build knowledge of road traffic emissions, validate predictive models and supports assessment of public health benefits of proposed interventions to reduce air pollution.
  • Special project monitoring refers to other type of monitoring rather than those described above, and is carried out at some locations to meet special needs, usually but not always for relatively shorter periods.
  • Stations excluded from region rating (i.e. stations that do not contribute the region rating) refer to stations designed to monitor (direct) impacts from specific emission sources, rather than those established to measure general population exposure to ambient air pollution in the area. Data from these stations are not used to calculate the relevant region air quality category (AQC).
  • Stations that contribute to region rating refer to stations established to measure the general population exposure to ambient air pollution in the area, rather than those designed to monitor (direct) impacts from specific emission sources. A region air quality category (AQC) is determined by the highest category from stations that contribute to regional air quality rating in that region.

See more air quality definitions