Land, Air & Noise Pollution

Acid Sulphate Soils

Many low lying coastal areas have naturally occurring acid sulfate soils, including Bayside Council. Any developments or civil works that involve the disturbance of soil below the groundwater table within the Bayside Council area, have the potential to disturb actual or potential acid sulphate soils. These soils can form sulphuric acid when exposed to the air, that can leach into the neighbouring drains, wetlands, creeks, estuaries and bays, causing severe environmental damage. Exposed acid sulphate soilscan also impact on infrastructure by causing serious damage to steel and concrete structures and the foundations of buildings.

There are five classes of land when categorising risk from acid sulphate soils. Each Class has corresponding acid sulphate soil risk management requirements. Further information can be found at:

All Development Applications are assessed for the likelihood of acid sulfate soils onsite, and depending on the risk class, appropriate management measures are required during demolition, excavation and construction.

Further general information on acid sulphate soils can also be found at:

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

If you have any questions please contact Council's Strategic Planning Team on 1300 581 299 or email

Land Contamination

Land contamination occurs due to leakage of pollutants into the ground and groundwater, usually from commercial and industrial sites.

Although contaminated sites can occur anywhere, they are typically clustered in areas that have been used for industry. Land contamination is particularly prominent in the Bayside Council area, as it has been heavily used by industry for at least 100 years. Industries have included tanneries, wool scourers, chemical manufacturers, metal platers, service stations and depots, landfill and dry cleaners.

Much of this industrial use occurred before any environmental protection controls were in place or even considered necessary. This legacy means there are parts of the Bayside Council area that has some land and groundwater contamination due to:

  • Chemicals including chlorinated hydrocarbons and other solvents,
  • Petroleum hydrocarbons including petrol and diesel, and
  • Heavy metals, chromium including nickel, lead and arsenic.

The identification, investigation, clean-up and management of contaminated sites is important to protect our health and the environment. Due to the industrial history of the area there are several properties in the Bayside Council area that are in the process of being cleaned up or have a management plan in place.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority is the agency responsible for formulating guidelines for contaminated land investigation and management, and for managing contaminated land and clean-up strategies for significantly contaminated sites. A list of these sites can be found at the EPA in the Record of Notices.

Council is responsible for assessing whether a site is contaminated and is suitable for the intended use as part of Development Application process. Council also maintains a register of contaminated sites located within the local government area.

Contaminated Land Assessment

In accordance with the State Environmental Planning Policy No 55 - Remediation of Land, Council requires contamination assessments to be submitted with all Development Applications where:

  • The site is known to have been used for a potentially contaminating use or is otherwise suspected by Council to be contaminated
  • The Development Application is for residential or recreational development on land which has been used for any industrial or commercial purpose
  • The Development Application is for a child care facility or school regardless of site history

How does this relate to my development application?

If you intend to develop your property (i.e. submit a development application), Council is required to consider the suitability of a site for development including any potential risk to human health and the environment, in accordance with State Environmental Planning Policy 55 – Remediation of Land. If a site has been identified as contaminated, State Environmental Planning Policy 55 imposes an obligation on councils that the site is suitable for use, or will be after remediation.

If a development requires remediation, a sign off that this has been achieved and a Site Audit Statement, which is an independent review of any or all stages of the site investigation process, may also be required.

Botany Bay Development Control Plan 2013 (Amendment 5)

Water Pollution

Air Quality

There are a variety of sources of air pollution which have an impact on local air quality in the Bayside. Everyone can help to improve the air we breathe, simply by implementing some or all of the following tips.

How do I get around?

  • Keep your car well-serviced and tyres properly inflated in order to reduce exhaust emissions, and increase fuel efficiency while saving you money.
  • Only fill the petrol tank to the first click to avoid spillage and reduce the release of petrol fumes into the air.
  • Switch to unleaded petrol to reduce atmospheric lead levels.
  • Drive smoothly to avoid excessive acceleration and braking, reduce exhaust emissions, which helps save money on petrol.
  • Carpool with friends or co-workers to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and emissions.
  • Walk, cycle and catch public transport which promotes healthy alternative for short trips.

What can I do around my home?

Wood heaters and fireplaces are a major source of air pollution. They generate a lot of greenhouse gas through methane production and, when they are burning incorrectly, produce smoke, soot, odours and a range of toxic compounds.

Gas heating and reverse-cycle air-conditioners are a better heating alternative because they don't produce smoke and they emit less greenhouse gases per unit of heat.

However, if you do have a wood heater there are several things you can do to reduce smoke:

  • Burn dry, seasoned, untreated wood.
  • Never burn treated or painted timbers or household rubbish.
  • Stack wood under cover in a dry, ventilated area.
  • Start the fire with small logs or firelighters. Once well-established, larger pieces of wood can be added gradually.
  • Check that your wood heater displays a plate saying it complies with the Australian Standard for pollution emissions (AS4013:1999).
  • Don't let it smoulder overnight.

What about my backyard?

  • Petrol driven lawn mowers are a source of airborne pollutants. If you own a two-stroke or four-stroke lawn mower ensure that it is serviced and do not over-rev the engine.
  • Natural gas and LPG barbecues are better than wood and coal fired barbecues because they are less polluting.
  • Backyard burning is prohibited because it pollutes the air and often causes a nuisance to neighbours. Recycling and composting where possible is an alternative to backyard burning.
  • Plant more trees and shrubs because they help absorb and filter air pollutants.


Everyone enjoys a little peace and quiet, especially when they are relaxing at home. Neighborhood noise can be annoying - particularly if it is excessively loud, occurs often, and/or happens for long periods at a time. Noise complaints are one of the most common reasons why people contact their local council. This information will help you define 'unacceptable' noise levels and provide guidelines for taking action when neighbourhood noise annoys.

In residential areas, actually making unacceptable noise is not 'an offence'. The offence is to continue to make the noise after being informed that it is offensive. So in the first instance, discuss the noise with the neighbour involved, because they might not even be aware that they are causing a problem.

If this approach fails to solve a recurring noise problem, ask a professional mediator from the Community Justice Centre to help resolve the situation. Should neither approach work, Council can issue a notice or take legal action. Proceeding with legal action requires all people affected by the noise to testify in court.

Private legal action is another option, which should be discussed with the Chamber Magistrate at the local court or your solicitor.

Who to contact:

Bayside Council Customer Service Centre 1300 581 299

Community Justice Centre, Dispute Resolution Services  9228 7455 

Land, Air & Noise Pollution