Dust and dirt from building construction work, mowing when overly dry, landscaping, chemical spray and spray painting can be a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with normal daily activities. If severe enough, it can also damage property and impact on people’s health. This information can help residents and the building industry to reduce dust and other air pollution and meet legal requirements.

If I am undertaking an activity that might cause air pollution what can I do?

Discuss with nearby occupants

  • If work such as excavating, building or landscaping is planned, it may be helpful to discuss this with nearby residents beforehand.
  • A sign with contact details on site, or distribution of leaflets, may help prevent complaints.

Work plan

  • Plan what work needs to be done.
  • Minimise the time taken to complete work that may cause air pollution.
  • Check the wind direction and weather conditions.

Physical barriers

  • Physical barriers such as fences can be very effective when used properly.
  • Material such as shade cloth could be erected as a dust fence around the work area.
  • If an area is required to be cleared efforts should be made to retain well maintained areas of vegetation wherever possible.


  • Spraying water onto topsoil can be very effective in reducing dust.
  • It is important that enough water is used to keep the topsoil layer damp and that spraying is completed before strong breezes develop.

How can I report an air pollution issue?

Discuss with your neighbour

People are sometimes unaware that their activities are causing a nuisance. Ipswich City Council encourages all residents to talk to their neighbours first about nuisance problems and only make a report if the issue remains unresolved.

Is the nuisance you're experiencing being caused by motorbikes/vehicle activity?

If you answered yes, please contact Policelink or phone 131 444.

If you answered no to the question listed above, please follow the below steps to report your issue to council. When making your report, please have the following information ready:

  • details of the source and nature of the issue
  • where the issue is coming from and how it is affecting you? i.e. the specific address/location of the nuisance, if you cannot provide the address council is unable to take action.
  • specific information on how often the issue is happening e.g. what time of the day and on what day/s

For information on how to report an issue, refer to council's Report an Issue webpage.

Note: Council provides an after hours service so that issues occurring outside of typical business hours are able to be investigated. If you are experiencing issues with air pollution outside of business hours, please contact council on 07 3810 6666 when the issue is occurring so that an investigating officer can conduct an inspection and obtain the necessary evidence.

How does Council manage an air pollution nuisance report?

Council will conduct an inspection to determine if the issue is a breach of the relevant legislation, if a determination isn’t able to be made from a public area (e.g. road/footpath) an officer may attend the residence of the person who has reported the issue to assess the impact to them and their property.

If it is determined that the activity is in breach of the relevant legislation officers may undertake a number of actions depending on the specific circumstances of the issue, these include providing general education, a formal warning, a compliance notice or a fine.

Air Pollution nuisances not investigated by council

Council shares responsibility for dust and dirt nuisance issues with other authorities. Council does not investigate the following:

  • an environmentally relevant activity regulated by the Department of Environment and Science (e.g. chemical manufacturing)
  • an environmentally relevant activity regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (e.g. poultry farming)
  • a state or local government premises or activity; this is the responsibility of the Department of Environment and Science.

If you are unsure if your concern is regulated by council or not you can contact council on 07 3810 6666 with the relevant information and seek clarification.