Air, water and light pollution
Council only has jurisdiction to act on certain air, water pollution and light pollution matters.
Air pollution can be from smoke, dust or odour, council can assist in some cases, refer to sections below.
Smoke and particles from open-air fires can cause a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with their normal daily activities.
If severe, it can also have health impacts.
Backyard burning is usually a resident burning off/lighting a fire (i.e. bon fire, burning of green waste, general waste, plastic etc.), or involving the use of a heating or cooking appliance in accordance with its intended purpose (e.g. smoke from barbeques, pot belly stoves, camp ovens etc.) or smoke from a chimney.
All fires must comply with any fire restrictions or bans declared by the State Government from time to time.
These details can be found at: ruralfire.qld.gov.au. or phone 4122 0337
All fires must comply with the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and not cause a smoke nuisance to surrounding properties.
Refer to the Queensland Health website for all laws regarding tobacco and cigarette smoke.
In a residential situation, odour can come from numerous sources, including compost heaps, rotting vegetation, fertilisers and rubbish and animals. This fact sheet includes information that may assist residents to reduce odour and meet legal requirements.
If issues between neighbours cannot be resolved and further complaints are made, Council officers will investigate.
The criteria when investigating a complaint, Council will consider:
- The amount of spray or contaminant or pollutant being emitted
- The duration and rate of emission and the emissions characteristics and qualities
- The sensitivity of the environment into which the drift is being emitted and the impact that it has had or may have
- Views of any other neighbours or complainants
For further information, please call Council’s Environmental Health Section on 1300 79 49 29
Dust nuicence can come from different sources and are managed by different departments within Council.
Refer to the table below for dust complaints.
DUST CAUSE INVESTIGATED BY CONTACT Domestic - Residential building site Council's Environmental Health department 1300 79 49 29 Domestic - Within a body corporate complex Respective body corporate Contact your body corporate Road works - Council controlled roads Council's Roads department 1300 79 49 29 Roads - Unsealed, Council controlled Council's Roads department 1300 79 49 29 Development (subdivision) - during construction Council's Development Engineering officer 1300 79 49 29 Farms - Agricultural vehicles on private property Department of Agriculture and Fisheries 13 25 23
Water pollution / Fish kill
In most instances contaminated local water bodies are managed by Council's Environmental Health Team.
Reports of fishkill
- In lagoons or coastal water bodies
- Wide Bay and Teddington Water Supply Schemes i.e. Lake Lenthall, Burrum River Weirs 1 & 2 and Teddington Weir
Council Environmental Health officers look after fish kills in our local lagoons and coastal area's and Wide Bay Water officers will investigate fish kills in our water supply areas.
To report call 1300 79 49 29 and specify the exact area for investigation.
To help reduce water pollution and protect our waterways, residents can:
- Pick up animal droppings and place in a bin or compost
- Preserve aquatic plants near your property
- Plant native trees and shrubs along the shoreline
- Dispose of rubbish so it does not blow into the lake
- Compost lawn clippings and garden waste
- Dispose of fish tank contents on your lawn or garden – not in the lake
- Dispose of cigarette butts responsibly
- Wash your car and other equipment on the lawn
- Avoid over-watering and use fertilisers in moderation
- Install silt fencing along the shoreline
- Keep building materials covered when building or renovating
Oils, spills and other contaminants can reported to Council on 1300 79 49 29 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Light pollution / spillage
Environmental Health Officers invesitagte lighting complaints for both private/residential or business/commercial properties.
- light spillage
- excessive (spotlight/security lights)
It is advised to talk to your neighbour or the property owner to see if the issue can be resolved prior to making a complaint.
Council and Ergon Energy do not supply NEW light shields or covers for street lights, nor do they replace any existing / damaged covers.
(Historically, Ergon provided aftermarket glare shields to street lights)
For further information, please call Council’s Environmental Health team on 1300 79 49 29.