Clean air is important for health and wellbeing and is an issue of community concern. The World Health Organization reports that statistically significant evidence supports the correlation between poor air quality and negative health impacts.
Melbourne’s population is predicted to grow by 50 per cent by 2030 and to reach 10 million by 2050. Population growth means an increase in emissions linked to domestic and business activities and, as a result, more people will be exposed to air pollution.
In Victoria, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is the agency primarily responsible for monitoring, regulating and reporting on the state's air quality. EPA is subject to a range of legislation including the Environment Protection Act 1970 and state environment protection policies that incorporate national standards on ambient air quality.
This audit examined whether Victoria’s air quality meets national standards for pollutant components such as ozone and particulate matter. We looked at:
- the roles and responsibilities of Victorian agencies in air quality management
- monitoring and reporting on air quality
- management of point and diffuse source discharges.
We made five recommendations for EPA, and one further recommendation for EPA and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.