Canberra air quality monitors won't track pollen counts

A light green air monitoring station in Canberra, sitting in the middle of a field of dry grass.
22 November 2020

The ACT government is considering ways to improve air quality monitoring across the city in the wake of last summer's record-breaking smoke haze, but there are no specific plans to include pollen monitoring.

Earlier this week, Professor Simon Haberle, a researcher at the Australian National University whose team has tracked pollen concentrations for a decade at the university's campus, called for a wider network of pollen monitoring stations.

The call came after an unprecedented number of days where extreme pollen levels were detected, driven by warm weather and rain which has combined to generate high levels of grass growth.

But Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said an assessment of air quality monitoring in the ACT would not specifically consider pollen.

"These options are being assessed to ensure that we are able to provide the most accurate data and relevant information to the community, with a focus on monitoring particular weather," Ms Stephen-Smith said.

Read the full article on the Canberra Times website, featuring Prof Simon Harbele