Locations of the Air Quality Monitoring Stations

The previous sections have more general information. This section is about choosing locations for the monitoring stations. There are also separate sections specific to Kingsgrove, Arncliffe and St Peters.

On September 19, we had our first meeting. We received a lot of general information and we were told that specific locations would be proposed to us in the next meeting which was scheduled for October 10 and then postponed to October 17. We would also be able to propose our own locations.

I spent quite a bit of time familiarising myself with the area and taking photographs because I wanted to have locations to offer, in case I wasn't happy with the locations proposed by the project team.

On October 16, one day before the meeting, we received by email the locations proposed by the project team (without information about anticipated pollution). At the beginning of the October 17 meeting, we were given, on paper, diagrams showing not only the stacks, the proposed locations and contour lines (without numbers), showing zones of greater and lesser anticipated pollution increases.

One problem with a lot of the proposed locations was that they were to a greater or lesser extent away from the zones of greatest impact. It is obviously pointless to put monitoring stations where they have no chance of the tunnel breaching air pollution limits, were such limits to occur. I expressed that view at the October 17 meeting.

One thing that surprised me was that, at least with the air quality modelling as presented, elevation of an area seemed to make little difference to its pollution exposure. I am a little sceptical about this but I don't have the expertise to refute it. I asked whether the air quality modelling took elevation into account and was assured that it did.

I also said that when picking locations for the monitoring sites, we should favour the portal side of the stack over the opposite side. This idea did not go uncontested but I got support from a Kingsgrove resident.

Some locations drew objections because they are flood-prone and one because it was proposed to be in the habitat being constructed for the Green and Golden Bell Frog at Eve Street.

One constraint with picking locations is that they need to be off the street. You can't put them on a street in lieu of parked cars.

We are scheduled to meet again on February 20 next year. The project team will further investigate sites based on what we said in the meeting and on February 20 we are expected to pick the actual sites. I asked that the project teams findings are send to us well before the meeting (I discovered that it's not the sort of thing we can take for granted).

After the meeting and on reflection, I decided that those timelines did not give the wider community a realistic chance to make informed suggestions. I requested that we have another month from when the supporting documentation goes public and the WestConnex maps and AQCCC maps are reconciled (there are some discrepancies).