Last Updated: Friday, 10 August 2018 12:47

Air pollution nuisances (offensive smells, dust, light and smoke) that we have the authority to respond to:

Further information about dust, light, odour, smoke and spray pollution can be found at the air pollution topic in Toolbox.

Nuisances outside of our authority

Wood fire heaters

Wood fire heaters are a major contributor to air pollution and the smoke emitted from these heaters can cause health problems in neighbours such as asthma attacks, bronchitis and burning eyes. Wood smoke contains numerous toxins which are harmful to anyone smelling the smoke and to the environment. 

Before choosing to install a wood fire heater, the associated health and environmental impacts should be considered seriously. There are numerous alternative home heating solutions which are more environmentally responsible and don't degrade air quality.

If you currently own or are installing a wood fire heater, it is your responsibility to operate and maintain the heater to prevent smoke from becoming a nuisance.

Alternative home heating solutions

There are numerous design ways to warm your house without using a heater. Think about installing insulation, sealing gaps (under doors, through floorboards etc.) using rooms in winter that receive sun during the day, closing off cold rooms at night if not in use, lay carpets or rugs to warm the floor surface, wear appropriate clothing and use flannel sheets and a thick comforter on beds.

If your house still needs a little more warmth there are copious options that can be investigated if you decide you need a heating solution for your home. Choosing whether you would like to heat your whole house (central heating) or only required rooms/spaces (space heating) will have a major impact on your choice of a heater.

Central heating options:

Space heating options:

Before deciding on a specific heater consider:

Reducing smoke from wood fire heaters

There are ways you can reduce smoke from wood fire heaters such as:

Wood fire heater complaints

If you, or your family, are affected by smoke emissions from a wood fire heater you can lodge a complaint with Council. To do this, you will need to provide:

Following your report, Council will send you a smoke nuisance diary log (see diary in Related documents). Please fill in the log and return it.

The alleged offender will be sent a letter advising that a complaint about an alleged smoke nuisance at their address has been made. The allows the owner of the wood fire heater a chance to attempt to reduce the smoke emissions.

Related information

Smoke emissions record diary

Toolbox - further information about air pollution and wood fire heaters

Australian Government Your Home - further information on heating and cooling solutions

Light nuisances

We can investigate complaints concerning light nuisance from residential and commercial properties. Your neighbour may not be aware that lights on their property are causing a nuisance. The best way to resolve such an issue with a neighbour is to approach them with your concerns and try and work together to resolve the problem.

Light can cause a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can affect their health. Light can come from numerous sources including security lights, spotlights, and floodlights.

Ways to reduce light emissions

Lodging a complaint

When investigating a light complaint, we will consider:

For more information, you can visit the Toolbox website or contact us to inquire about lodging an environmental nuisance complaint.