The City of Newcastle has been viewed as marginal to the main narratives of Australian history, despite its contribution to industrial development being likened in importance to that of a Pittsburgh or Birmingham. A focus on visible air pollution makes it possible to reposition Newcastle as the centre of environmental innovation, largely because of the knowledge gathered by Novocastrians about smoke abatement in the Anglo-American industrial cities upon which it modelled itself. The reduction of smoke in Newcastle since World War II is attributed partially to the City Council activities, but also to the displacement of pollution elsewhere, both within Australia and to the Asian cities to which coal is exported.
Australian Economic History Review Vol. 49, Issue 1, p. 19-33