Upper Hunter Air Quality Advisory Committee

In September 2010, the NSW Government established an Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network Advisory Committee to advise on the design and operation of an air quality monitoring network in that region. The committee members represent the interests of the local community, the coal mining and power generation industries, non-coal industries, local councils, NSW Health and the Department of Planning and Environment.

The 14-station network was completed by early 2012, providing air quality information in near real time to the public on the Office of Environment and Heritage website. The term of the first committee expired in November 2013.

In November 2013, the Minister for the Environment formalised the committee under the NSW Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991. The terms of reference and composition of the committee were unchanged from the founding Committee.

Members of the founding committee were invited to re-apply and expressions of interest were called for some vacant positions.

In February 2015, following a request from the committee, the EPA agreed to broaden the Committee's Terms of Reference to include advising more broadly on regional air quality issues. The committee's name has been changed to the Upper Hunter Air Quality Advisory Committee to better reflect its new charter.

The committee comprises 14 members. The committee membership was chosen to represent a broad range of views to ensure a balanced approach to the operation of the air quality monitoring network and the management of regional air quality issues.

Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference and Constitution support and guide the activities of the Advisory Committee.


John Tate

John Tate
Mr Tate is the proprietor of a local automotive industry company and has extensive experience in small business. John served as a Councillor for the City of Newcastle from 1980 and was popularly elected as Lord Mayor of Newcastle in 1999, to his retirement in 2012. John served as Chair of the Hunter Economic Development Corporation, and as the Deputy Chair of Regional Development Australia - Hunter. He has been a Director of the Regional Land Management Corporation, the Newcastle Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Honeysuckle Development Corporation and Hunter Development Corporation.

Community representatives

Tom Green

Thomas Green
Mr Green is a member of a number of stakeholder groups in the Upper Hunter region and has volunteered through  number of community projects.

John Krey

John Krey
Mr Krey has served as a community representative on the committee since 2014. John is president of the Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association

Diane Gee

Diane Gee
Ms Gee is a community advocate and is passionate about improving air quality in the Upper hunter especially for families with young children.

Industry representatives

John Watson

John Watson
Mr Watson is the Environment and Climate Change Manager for Glencore Coal Assets Australia and has been in this role since 2009. John is responsible for liaison with Glencore's NSW operations and driving improvement in the areas of compliance and assurance, air, water and noise management, as well as energy and greenhouse data management across Glencore's Australian coal assets. John has represented the coal industry on the committee since its inception in 2011.

Matthew Parkinson

Matthew Parkinson
Mr Parkinson manages the air quality monitoring network for Bayswater and Liddell power Stations as an Environmental Advisor with AGL Macquarie. He is a member on a number of Committees and Working Groups in relation to the environment.  

Dr Catherine Chicken

Dr Catherine Chicken
Dr Chicken holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary Microbiology. Catherine is a consultant to the Scone Equine Hospital on pathology and infectious disease, a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in medicine of horses, a former member of Equine Veterinarians Australia Executive, a previous Scientific Editor of the Australian Equine Veterinarian and a former Superintendent of Scone Equine Hospital Clovelly ICU. Catherine heads the Scone Equine Group Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. Catherine has worked in mixed and equine practice in Australia and England and in stud practice at Newmarket Equine Hospital. Catherine is based at the Scone Equine Hospital Laboratory and consults to various farms in the investigation of specific disease outbreaks. Catherine has served on the committee since 2013.

Minister’s Community representatives

Geoff Sharrock

Geoffrey Sharrock
Mr Sharrock joined the committee as a community representative in 2013. Geoff has lived the Hunter Valley since 1985. Geoff served as a councillor on the Singleton Shire Council from 2004 to 2008. Geoff is Chair of the Broke-Fordwich Private Irrigation District. He was the inaugural Chair of The Alliance, a community liaison group for the communities of Broke, Fordwich, Bulga and Milbrodale.

Muswellbrook Council representative

Mark Scandrett

Mark Scandrett
Mr Scandrett is currently employed as a Sustainability Coordinator for Muswellbrook Shire Council  responsible for managing air quality in the shire and communicating air quality information to the community.

Singleton Council representative

Danny Thompson

Cr Danny Thompson
Cr Thompson was elected to Singleton Council in September 2013. He was born in Singleton and has lived and worked there most of his life

Upper Hunter Council representative

Wayne Bedggood

Cr Wayne Bedggood
Mayor Bedggood represents Upper Hunter Shire on the committee. Wayne is an Upper Hunter Shire councillor and has been Mayor since 2015. Wayne is General Manager of a large thoroughbred horse stud outside of Scone. Wayne is a committee member of the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (Past President), a director of the Muswellbrook Race Club, Vice-chairman of the Scone Volunteer Support Group for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and Chairman of the Transcare Board. Wayne is committed to environmental conservation and protection and played a major role in the development of the Hunter Great Eastern Ranges Initiative. Wayne represented the equine industry on the Committee from its inception to 2013.

NSW Health representative

Dr Craig Dalton

Dr Craig Dalton
Dr Dalton is a public health physician at Hunter New England Health and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, in the School Medical Practice and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. Craig has been involved in human health risk assessment and communication related to a wide range of environmental health issues in the Hunter since 1997.

NSW Planning representative

Leah Cook

Leah Cook
Ms Cook represents the Department of Planning and Environment on the Committee. 

If you would like to know more about the matters that the committee has been considering, please refer to the minutes below

 For more information on the monitoring network itself, visit the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network webpage.

If you have comments or feedback on the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network please email: airmonitoring.upperhunter@environment.nsw.gov.au.

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