Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Air - NSW overview

Clean Air Forum 2007 proceedings

Welcome to country 

Allen Madden
Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council


Verity FirthThe Hon. Verity Firth
Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water

Verity Firth has been a councillor on the City of Sydney Council since March 2004, where she also served as Deputy Mayor. She previously worked as a lawyer for the respected national firm Slater and Gordon, and has practised in asbestos litigation, workers' compensation and industrial law. In March 2007, Verity was elected the State Member for Balmain. She was also elevated to the Ministry and holds the portfolios of Minister for Women, Minister for Science and Medical Research, Minister for Health (Cancer), and Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water.

Opening address

John WatkinsThe Hon. John Watkins
Deputy Premier of NSW

John Watkins is the Deputy Premier of NSW, the Minister for Transport, and the Minister for Finance. He is committed to improving the safety and reliability of NSW public transport systems, with a particular focus on rail. John is implementing the Iemma Government's strong and detailed transport plans, which include the investment of $1.5 billion to untangle existing rail lines, delivering $2.5 billion in new rolling stock, and improving reliability. The reform of the private bus industry, and improving communication and customer service on the NSW transport networks, are also among his top priorities.


Achieving cleaner air and reducing greenhouse emissions

Cleaning the air and reducing greenhouse gases in California

Catherine WitherspoonCatherine Witherspoon

Former Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board, USA

Catherine Witherspoon is the former Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board. In that post, Catherine managed a staff of 1000, oversaw an annual budget of $350 million, and reported to a multidisciplinary governing board appointed by the Governor. She has 26 years of air quality experience acquired at the local, state and federal government levels. Catherine also ran her own consulting firm in the late 1980s, a business she is currently re-establishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Theory) from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Health and air pollution: A New Zealand perspective 

Gavin FisherGavin Fisher
Principal author, Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand

Gavin Fisher is a leading air quality scientist in New Zealand. He was the lead author on a recently completed major study of the health effects of air pollution in New Zealand. Gavin has undertaken research and consultancy in the fields of air quality, atmospheric sciences and climate for 30 years. His interests include the health effects of pollution and the interaction between air quality and climate change. Gavin has been President of the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand, as well as contributing to several other professional organisations.

Links between air quality and climate change and predicted impacts

Ian GalballyIan Galbally
Chief Research Scientist, Marine and Atmospheric Research, CSIRO

Ian Galbally leads a team at CSIRO researching volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from natural sources and human activities that form the air around us, and affect climate and human health. His recent work includes studies of VOC emissions associated with alumina refining, the science of greenhouse gas inventories, Southern Hemisphere tropospheric ozone, and the emission of organic gases from grass and pasture plants. Ian was recipient of the Werner Strauss Achievement Award, Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2004, and was a finalist in the Australian Museum Eureka Awards Public Choice Scientist 2007.

Keynote speakers questions and answers

Catherine Witherspoon, Gavin Fisher and Ian Galbally.


Looking after our community, health and environment

Community perspectives on air quality and greenhouse

Jeff AngelJeff Angel
Executive Director, Total Environment Centre

Jeff Angel has been an environmental campaigner for 34 years. He has worked on a wide variety of issues - city and bush, state and national, protecting natural landscapes, changing laws to implement ecologically sustainable development, building community capacity, lobbying for sustainable cities, and supporting the greening of business. Jeff was part of the lead-free petrol campaign and a major negotiator in the effort that gave rise to Action for Air. He is Executive Director of the Total Environment Centre, which has undertaken two previous reviews of Action for Air in 2001 and 2004.

Links between health, planning, physical activity and clean air

Libby DarlisonLibby Darlison
Chair of the Premier's Council for Active Living

Libby Darlison is the independent chair of the Premier's Council for Active Living. The Council adopts an holistic view of 'active living' which incorporates active and coordinated engagement with transport, planning, the environment, community engagement, health, housing, sport and physical activity, and education, at all levels of government and across the business and community sectors. The Council believes that it is impossible to develop or implement strategies and actions that result in the creation of healthy, liveable sustainable environments without all of these key players at the table.

Actions on the ground: Local government initiatives to reduce emissions

Genia McCafferyGenia McCaffery
Mayor of North Sydney

Genia McCaffery is the Mayor of North Sydney. As Mayor, she is committed to managing development within North Sydney, responsible financial management of Council, protecting the environment, and maintaining strong community involvement in local government. Genia is also the President of the NSW Local Government Association, and a member of the Board of the NSW Environment Protection Authority. She holds a Bachelor of Economics (Government) from the University of Sydney.

Actions on the ground: 'ClimateCam for Schools' Program

Callaghan CollegeCallaghan College - Waratah Technology Campus

The students at Callaghan College - Waratah Technology Campus have been working in partnership with Newcastle City Council as part of the 'ClimateCam for Schools' program for the past 18 months. They have been working towards helping their school save money on electricity bills while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Callaghan College - Waratah Technology Campus was one of ten schools selected to participate in the 'ClimateCam for Schools' pilot program which provides schools with an on-line electricity monitoring program and encourages a whole-of-school approach to energy management.

Panel discussion: Looking after our community, health and environment

Session speakers joined by Kerry Chant (NSW Health), Greg Smith (Asthma Foundation) and Lisa Corbyn (DECC).


Tackling pollution sources

Insights into emissions from road transport

Mark McKenzieMark McKenzie
Director, RARE Consulting

Mark McKenzie is a Director of RARE Consulting, a Sydney-based consultancy providing strategic advice and public policy research on a broad range of transport and environmental issues, particularly greenhouse strategy and urban air pollution. His specific expertise relates to the economics and environmental performance of alternative fuels and alternative vehicle technologies. Mark is the national facilitator for the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Water Resources Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme. He held a number of senior public policy and research roles within the NRMA group of companies prior to establishing Rare Consulting.

Transport actions on the ground: Green fleets

Paul WildPaul Wild
National Fleet and Equipment Manager, TNT Express

Paul Wild is the National Fleet and Equipment Manager for TNT Express in Australia. After commencing his engineering career in the steel industry, he has been involved in vehicle and fleet engineering as a consultant with the Department of Motor Transport (now the RTA) and with TNT. Paul is a Member of the Institution of Engineers and is a Chartered Professional Engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Eng) from the University of Newcastle and a Postgraduate Diploma (Financial Management) from the University of New England.

Tackling transport behaviour change: A property manager's perspective

Caroline NollerCaroline Noller
Head of Corporate Responsibility, GPT Group

Caroline Noller is responsible for developing the Corporate Responsibility culture of property investment and management firm GPT, which aims to completely integrate social, environmental and governance activities into day-to-day business. She has worked with GPT since 2004 in the retail division, developing the sustainability direction for the division, and was appointed Head of Corporate Responsibility in 2007. Caroline holds a PhD in the Built Environment from the University of New South Wales in the area of life-cycle carbon footprinting of commercial buildings

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Caroline was unable to attend the Forum. However you can download her PowerPoint presentation here.

Session speakers questions and answers

Mark McKenzie and Paul Wild.

Panel discussion: Tackling pollution sources

Session speakers joined by Catherine Witherspoon, Mark Curran (Residents Against Polluting Stacks), Frier Bentley (State Transit Authority) and Simon Smith (DECC).


Future actions for NSW

Future directions for air quality management in NSW

Lisa CorbynLisa Corbyn
Director General, Department of Environment and Climate Change

Lisa Corbyn is the Director General of the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) a new agency formed on 27 April 2007 to respond to the unprecedented challenges presented by climate change. The new department brings together a range of environment protection, conservation and natural resources agencies and programs, including the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Environment Protection Authority, and the Botanic Gardens Trust. Lisa worked for over 10 years for the United States Environmental Protection Agency prior to moving to Australia.

    Closing address

    Phil KoperbergPhil Koperberg
    Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water

    Phil Koperberg, a long-time resident of the Blue Mountains, is the Member for the Blue Mountains, and Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water. He has taken on the role of heading up this newly created portfolio after 21 years of service as the head of the NSW Rural Fire Service. In his capacity as RFS Commissioner, Phil developed his expertise in risk and crisis management, and was the overall emergency controller responsible for fighting some of New South Wales's most severe fires. He is the recipient of a number of awards honouring his service to the community, including the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Page last updated: 18 June 2013