Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Lower Hunter Dust Deposition Project Reference Group

Community groups and individuals have raised concerns about the levels of visible black dust in the lower Hunter region. In response, the EPA, at the request of the Newcastle Community Consultative Committee on the Environment has commissioned a study to examine the quantity, composition and likely sources of this dust.

The EPA has established a project reference group for the study, which comprises eight members: two community representatives, two industry representatives, two independent technical experts and two EPA staff members.

Reference group members

Community representatives

Mr George Barnes is an active member of the Correct Planning and Consultation Group for Mayfield and the Orica Community Reference Group, and volunteers with the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens. George has been a TAFE teacher in Electrical Engineering and a local representative with the NSW Teachers’ Federation.

Mr Terry McCauley works for Transport for NSW, Country Rail Contracts unit which manages the maintenance contract for the Country Regional Network. Terry is also the Coordinator, Islington Village Community Group, actively engaging with government and industry to protect and enhance the lifestyle of the village and surrounding inner city suburbs. Terry has a strong concern for the liveability of the inner city suburbs and campaigns to ensure that future developments in these areas are sustainable both financially and environmentally for future generations.

Technical representatives

Professor Howard Bridgman is with the School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, and has extensive knowledge of air quality issues having researched this topic for more than 35 years. Howard is an independent advisor for the Rutherford Air Quality Liaison Committee, Lake Macquarie Council and the NSW EPA.

Mr Len Ferrari’s professional experience encompasses monitoring of air quality and emissions, having previously been Chairman of the Standards Australia Committee for air quality, worked with the EPA and consulted widely in this field. Len is a NATA Assessor with over 30 years’ experience assessing government and industrial air quality laboratories, in Australia and overseas.

Industry representatives

Ms Marie-Louise ter Beek is the Environment Strategy Manager with Aurizon in Brisbane, the largest freight operator in Australia for coal, iron ore, other minerals and agricultural products. Marie-Louise manages environmental programs for Aurizon, working with stakeholders to develop strategies and plans to meet sustainability objectives to achieve best practice in air quality, noise, energy and waste outcomes.

Mr Antony Taylor is Major Projects, Statutory Manager with Orica at Kooragang Island, leading improvement programs relating to the site’s air quality, stormwater and noise environmental performance. Antony has a strong interest in managing the environmental performance of the manufacturing industry, particularly in monitoring and reporting systems for regulatory compliance.

Terms of reference

The EPA has prepared terms of reference to support and guide the project reference group.

Methodology for the Study

The methodology paper (2.46MB) describes the researchers’ approach to the study, including the sampling strategy and techniques for determining the composition of dust particles.

The methodology paper was reviewed by air quality scientists and the community as well as the Project Reference Group.

Six month interim report

The Lower Hunter Dust Deposition Results Summary Report for October 2014 to April 2015 (PDF 2MB). Additional appendices are available on request at

Fact sheets about the Lower Hunter Dust Deposition Study

Minutes of meetings

More information

If you have questions or require more information on this project, contact the EPA at


Page last updated: 27 November 2015