Hunter Environment Advisory Group

This group includes representatives from community, local industry and councils. It will engage with the EPA on existing, new or emerging environmental matters in the Hunter region.


The scope of the Hunter Environment Advisory Group (HEAG) is to enable local communities in the Hunter region to engage with their industrial neighbours, the EPA and the Minister for the Environment.

In particular, the HEAG will have the opportunity to help inform the EPA’s approach on matters specifically related to:

  • local air quality and the operation of local air quality networks
  • environmental matters in the Newcastle and Hunter region
  • communications and engagement with the community.

The HEAG is not a decision making or approval body.


After an expression of interest process, the following members were appointed to the HEAG:


  • Jason Gordon, Executive Director Operations, EPA

Local government representatives

  • Tracy Ward, Sustainability Officer, Muswellbrook Shire Council
  • Danny Thompson, Councillor, Singleton Council
  • Philippa Hill, Environmental Strategy Manager, City of Newcastle

Industry Rrpresentatives

  • Annie Jiang, CEO Go Circular
  • Gary Mulhearn, Environment and Community Manager, Yancoal
  • Rob Cooper, Senior Manager Corporate Affairs AGL
  • Trudie Larnach, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Manager, Port Waratah Coal Services

Community representatives

  • Chris Tola
  • Alfred Davis
  • Michael White
  • Ian Hedley
  • Stephen Dewar
  • Michael Smith

Environmental representative

  • Wendy Wales

The Advisory Group will have access to independent technical expertise as required. 


The Advisory Group has the following functions:

  • to engage with the EPA on existing, new, or emerging matters of environmental concern in the Hunter region.
  • to identify and review any community concerns or complaints regarding any environmental and amenity issues associated with local industrial activities.
  • to provide feedback to the EPA on the effectiveness of measures and actions required to monitor, mitigate, or reduce environmental impacts from major industries in the Hunter region.
  • to contribute to community education for environmental issues such as air quality, water quality, contaminated land and remediation.
  • to facilitate ongoing dialogue between industry and the community to build trust and confidence in the environmental performance of industry.
  • to contribute to the management and implementation of environmental monitoring systems in the Hunter region, including, but not limited to, the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network and the Lower Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network.
  • to inform the community and industry of any actions undertaken by the EPA in response to matters raised.
  • to provide feedback to the EPA on the mechanisms by which the community wishes to be notified and kept informed in the event of an environmental incident.
  • to consider any matter referred by the Minister, or any other relevant matter.