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HOW can we stop wood smoke pollution? 

Our campaign


A key focus of our campaign is on advocating for the phasing out of wood heaters in residential areas. Research shows that most Australians share our concerns about wood smoke pollution and support phasing out wood heaters.

Actions you can take to encourage governments to address wood smoke pollution 

Unless people raise the issue of wood smoke pollution - the situation is very unlikely to change. Anything single thing you can do to speak up and take action will help government and the wider community to better understand.

  • Contact your local Member of Parliament. Write to them and/or request a meeting - tell them your story and ask them to raise your concerns with the Environment Minister or to ask a question in parliament.​

  • Write to the Minister for the Environment in your state or territory. You can find email contacts for Ministers of Parliament via government and parliamentary websites.​ You can find example letters on our templates page.

  • Contact the Environment Protection Authority in your state/territory. You can call and/or write to your EPA - however your letter may be passed on to the Minister for the Environment or you may be referred back to your local Council. 

  • Petition your local council. You could ask your council to implement a community education campaign to inform residents about the health harms of wood smoke, to advocate to state government or bring in local restrictions. You only need one councillor to support your petition. Go to our templates page for a petition template. Once you have your petition signed by other residents you can submit it via email to your local council. Councillors are required to consider your petition at a council meeting. For example, in 2020 the Darebin Council in Victoria responded to a petition of residents concerned about wood smoke. As a result, the Council advocated for the Victorian state government to introduce a buyback scheme to replace wood heaters and has committed to educating the local community about the harms of wood smoke pollution (see The Age 6 June 2020 'Mayor calls for wood heater buy-back scheme'). ​

  • Contact your local councillors. You can request a meeting with local councillors to tell them your experiences, share your concerns and request that they take action.

  • Raise awareness in your local community. Asthma Australia have produced a flyer for people who live in Vic or ACT about the health harms of wood smoke and aims to encourage people to switch to healthier heating. You can print it off and distribute in local letter boxes, at community events or on social media. For people who live in other states and territories Asthma Australia have produced a letter to MPs to encourage them to introduce a rebate scheme.  

  • Writing a submission/contribute to government inquiries. See our page with information about current and past inquiries and resources to help you make a submission. ​

  • Change to a healthier heating if you own a wood heater. If you are a Victorian on a low income you may be able to access the $1000 rebate heating upgrade scheme being funded by the Victorian government to replace your wood heater.​

  • Raise awareness by telling you story in the media. Every now and then stories on wood smoke appear on radio and in newspaper. You might want to think about whether you would like to share your story and the points you would want to make. You could also consider contacting the media and offering to share your story to raise awareness of the issue. You might like to write to the letters page or raise the issue on talk back radio. 

  • Keep in touch with C4CA network.  Join Twitter and support our campaign (@AcampaignC) and follow or join clean air groups on facebook.  ​

  • Subscribe and join our mailing list, share you story, or contact us to find out more. 

The government's role in air quality


Government's at different levels have a role in addressing wood smoke pollution:

  • Federal: The national level has tended to focus on frameworks and setting broad air quality measures. The National Clean Air Agreement provides a framework for national collaboration to address air quality issues, and the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure  provides national health-based standards for air quality. 

  • State and territory: State and territory governments monitor air quality against national standards and provide regulations and legislation for managing air quality and controlling emissions from wood heaters, wood burning, industry, vehicles and other sources. This is led by state/territory environment departments (and/or the health department in some states) and the environment protection authority (EPA). They also delegate responses to residential wood smoke complaints to local government.​ Victoria and the ACT currently have rebate schemes to encourage people to switch to health heating. The Victorian scheme is aimed at low income earners and not wood heater specific - whereas the ACT program is aimed at replacing wood heaters  .

  • Local government: Enforce regulations and respond to local air quality issues and complaints, including wood smoke emissions. Local councils can also intervene on issue such as chimney heights through enforcing building regulations

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More information

For more information on the regulations and the key issues, see our frequently asked questions page

For an overview of existing and past wood reduction programs go to our resources page. You might also be interested in our Quit wood smoke campaign and our page on Help for local wood smoke problem.

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