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Regional air quality trends

Regional air quality trends help us identify how effective current management approaches are in ensuring good air quality and if there is any need for additional control measures.

In general, factors influencing air pollution in South East Queensland include increasing population and the high number of motor vehicles, while in the other centres, industrial activity is the major cause.

How we identify trends

Air quality is assessed by comparing pollutant concentrations against the air quality objectives set within the Environmental Protection (Air) Policy 2008 (EPP Air) and the air quality standards set within the National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality (Air NEPM).

These objectives and standards generally fall into 2 broad categories:

  • those developed to protect human health
  • those based on aesthetic criteria such as visibility loss or odour.

Regional air quality trends show the number of poor, fair and good air quality days for each year for these 2 categories—human health protection and visual amenity.

Air quality trend (human health)

Air quality—human health (see larger version)

The image and table (PDF, 158KB) show the air quality trend (human health) from 2005 (table from 2000) to 2019 in South East Queensland, Gladstone, Central Queensland , Townsville and Mount Isa.

Air quality trend (amenity)

Air quality—amenity (see larger version)

The image and table (PDF, 154KB) show the air quality trend (amenity) from 2005 (table from 2000) to 2019 in South East Queensland, Gladstone, Central Queensland and Townsville.