The air quality in the Kiama Municipality is affected by local, regional and global sources and is therefore an issue that crosses local Council boundaries. Poor air quality can impact on our health and the environment. The New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) monitors air quality in Wollongong and Albion Park, but currently there are no monitoring stations in the Kiama Municipality. The DEC's Regional Pollution Index is reported annually in Council's State of the Environment Report.
The main sources of air pollution include motor vehicles, backyard burning, solid fuel heaters, bushfires, energy consumption, odour, dust from unsealed areas, waste production, vegetation clearing, and direct emissions from certain primary and secondary industries.
Council developed a Local Air Quality Management Plan in 2001 (pdf 853 KB), which aims to establish and maintain clean air for the community of the Kiama Municipality. The plans are to:
Council's progress towards achievement of the strategies outlined in the Plan is reported annually in the State of the Environment Report 2004.
Council has adopted a No Burn Policy within the Kiama Municipality. Council will only consider applications to burn piles of vegetation that relate to properties performing rural activities. Approval is subject to an inspection by one of Council's officers taking into account the material being burnt and the impact this activity may have on the local air quality.
The use of cycleways and walking paths promote physical activity as well as improved air quality through alternative transport options. Council's Cycleways Plan is a strategic plan incorporating engineering, educational and encouragement strategies and lists the priority cycleway projects. Council's "Walk-It" Kiama Program, which includes path marking, mapping, events, expansion of paths and supportive environments for physical activity, promotes the use of these paths.
Council's Environmental Health Officer and Ranger Services Officers investigate complaints received by Council relating to air pollution, and the Department of Environment and Conservation investigates complaints regarding air pollution from scheduled premises and activities and smoky vehicles. Clean Up Notices, Prevention Notices or Penalty Infringement Notices for water pollution offences may be issued by these officers under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
Last updated: Friday 4 January, 2013