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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. To report backyard burning please complete an online customer request form and email the City's Compliance Department at

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 report dust and sand drift please complete an online customer request form and email the City's Compliance Department at

Odours and Fremantle Port's sheep ship smell

To report an odour nuisance, it's important to locate as best as you can where the odour is coming from so an investigation can be conducted quickly and efficiently. Please complete an online customer request form and email the City's Compliance Department at

To report the sheep ship smell emanating from the Fremantle Ports, all complaints must be sent to the Fremantle Ports on 08 9430 3555 or email Unfortunately the City of Fremantle has no control over this. 

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 refuelling – fire requires oxygen to burnby 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

Useful documents

Health Local Laws 1997
Customer request form 

Useful links 

Department of Environment Regulation
Prevention and Abatement of Sand Drift Local Law (Amended) 2005,
Department of Environment Regulation

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