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Air quality

Backyard burning

Burning of rubbish on a property, whether on the ground or in an incinerator, is an offence under the City of Fremantle's Health Local Laws 1997. This creates a considerable smoke nuisance for neighbours, can be a fire hazard especially in summer and pollutes the air.

For complaints regarding backyard burning go to the compliance section of our website.

Dust and sand drift

The City of Fremantle's Prevention and Abatement of Sand Drift Local Law (Amended) 2005, governs the practices of owners and occupiers of land, to ensure sand or dust escape does not cause a nuisance. As this mainly occurs during development of the land, it is important to discuss your intentions with your neighbours.

'Sand' refers to any granular or particulate material consisting of small eroded fragments of rocks finer than gravel, and includes dust or organic matter.

Depending on the site conditions, cost and the time lapse prior to development, the following are some of the options that should be considered:

  • hydro-mulching or seeding
  • liquid polymer emulsion
  • apply water/spray/sprinkler (short term solution)
  • hessian wind barriers.

To make a complaint regarding sand drift, contact our compliance services team here.

Odours and Fremantle Ports sheep ship smell

Odours in the environment can often be a nuisance to residents. When contacting the City regarding an odour nuisance, try and pin point where the odour is coming from so an investigation can be conducted quickly and efficiently.

We often receive enquiries about the sheep ship smell emanating from the Fremantle Ports. Unfortunately the City has no control over this and all complaints must be sent to the Fremantle Ports on 08 9430 3555 or email

To make an odour complaint, contact our compliance services team here.

Wood smoke and wood heaters

Wood heaters are a large source of air pollution in winter and contribute to the smoky haze often seen over Perth. This air pollution can have adverse health impacts on those with respiratory illness such as asthma. Home owners with wood heaters have a responsibility to ensure they are correctly operated to ensure minimal smoke is produced.

Follow these tips for correct wood heater operation:

  • ensure only dry wood is burned. Wet wood produces a significant amount of smoke
  • do not burn any household waste or painted wood
  • ensure firewood is kept undercover to protect it from moisture
  • do not overload the wood heater with large logs as this will reduce air flow and cause more smoke
  • ensure your flue is cleaned annually as accumulation of soot reduces air flow
  • use the 'chimney checker' (see below) to check the amount of smoke produced outside. Smoke should only be visible for the first 10 to 20 minutes after starting
  • use plenty of kindling and small logs to ensure a hot fire is produced quickly as slow burning causes smoke. Add some newspaper above the fuel load to heat the flue to increase the draught – this will make the fire easier to start
  • always leave the air intake open for at least 20 minutes after lighting the fire and after refueling – fire requires oxygen to burn
  • by fitting a parallel rain excluder to the chimney (not a china men's cap) this will send smoke straight upwards rather than dispersing it outwards.

The Department of Environment and Conservations Halt the Haze - Wood Smoke brochure will provide you with more information and the 'chimney checker'.

Should you have any problems with neighbours causing a smoke nuisance contact our compliance services team here.

Purchasing heaters in Western Australia

The Department of Environment and Conservation has produced a range of fact sheets regarding the purchasing of heaters in Western Australia, these include:

Contact us

Environmental health services
City of Fremantle
Town Hall Centre
8 William Street
T 08 9432 9999
F 08 9430 4634


Useful links

Department of Environment and Regulation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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