Complaints

Complaints

Complaints about planned burns

Planned burns are usually undertaken between March and May every year for forest regeneration and property protection, and to maintain biodiversity and reduce the risk posed by bushfires.

To lodge a complaint about smoke impact from planned burns, call 1800 005 171 or lodge a complaint to incidentresponse@environment.tas.gov.au.

Impacts from smoke and planned burns are important to capture as part of the strategy to improve smoke management.

Complaints about wood heaters

Persistent poor air quality from a neighbouring house is not something that has to be tolerated.

Smoke from a poorly operated wood heater can be reduced by as much as 80 per cent by following a few simple steps.  When particular care is taken most wood heaters can be operated so that they produce only modest smoke emissions. Modern heaters can be operated so that no visible smoke is emitted at all.

We recommend you take the following steps to resolve issues of excessive wood-smoke from a neighbouring house:

Step one

Often your neighbours will not realise their fire is affecting you. It is best to discuss the problem with them and try to find a solution.

Step two

If you cannot reach an agreement after talking to your neighbour, you can contact an environmental health officer at your local council for advice.

Wood-smoke can easily become an environmental nuisance. An environmental nuisance is any emission of a pollutant that may unreasonably interfere with a person's enjoyment of the environment.

Your local council can take action under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Distributed Atmospheric Emissions) Regulations 2007, also known as the DAE Regulations, which are used to regulate wood heaters and backyard burning in Tasmania.

Provisions of the DAE Regulations include:

  • a requirement for all solid fuel heaters manufactured, imported for sale or sold in Tasmania (including second-hand heaters) to comply with Australian Standard AS/NZS 4013-1999
  • a prohibition on modifications to solid fuel heaters that may increase smoke emissions
  • visible smoke limits for emissions from solid fuel heaters, fireplaces, hot water and cooking appliances and barbecues
  • a prohibition on backyard burning (either in the open or in incinerators) on allotments of less than 2 000 square metres, with certain exceptions
  • types of solid fuel that may be burnt in heaters, etc and the types of fuel or waste that may be burnt in backyard burning.

The infringement notice penalty prescribed in Regulation 9 of the DAE Regulations, is currently 10 penalty units ($1 300).

December 2015