Smoke and Odour

Clean air is very important to human health. Poor air quality can impact on our health and, as a result, we become less tolerant of odour, smoke and dust in the atmosphere.

Odour and smoke problems in the community are controlled by local nuisance laws. These laws prevent the build up of impurities, smoke or gases in the air which can be offensive or dangerous to health.


Most unpleasant odours we experience come from organic matter that is being decayed by bacteria. This process produces hydrogen sulphide or “rotten egg” gas. These odours may result from:

  • A breakdown in solid or liquid waste disposal systems
  • Poor Management of wastes from households, commercial food premises or commercial animal producers 
  • Bore Water.

Offensive odours may also be experienced from industry where buffer zones are limited.  These odours may result from gas emissions such as:

  • Sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen from power generation and industrial combustion
  • Volatile organic compounds (voc’s) from paint and solvents manufacture or use
  • Ammonia from chemical manufacture.

Contact the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation if you are experiencing an odour nuisance from a licensed premises.


Smoke is a mixture of tiny particles of gas, water and ash. Smoke particles can permeate through very small openings and are often trapped on surfaces or in spaces where ventilation is poor.

Environmental smoke causes varying effects, depending on a person’s individual sensitivity or other respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

Major sources of smoke in our environment are:

  • Solid fuel combustion for energy
  • Motor vehicles
  • Burning wood for domestic heating
  • Bushfires.

More information and contact

Contact Health Services to investigate a smoke or odour issue that is becoming dangerous to your health, affecting your wellbeing or impacting on your use of private or public land on 08 9411 3444 or at [email protected].

Contact the City to Make a Complaint/Report an Issue.



City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.