During the warmer months of 2019-2020, there was noticeable dust from large-scale land development sites in the Whittlesea area.

Whittlesea's OPLE and council officers worked to reduce the dust.

Developers strip areas of vegetation from land when they are preparing a site. This is likely to cause dusty conditions, especially on hot and windy days. Dust can impact nearby residents and poses a risk to stormwater.

Whittlesea's OPLE monitored dust on hot and windy days, and completed 15 inspections. The OPLE found that there were limited controls in place to reduce dust.

The OPLE issued three pollution abatement notices (PANs) to reduce dust coming from work sites in the growth corridor.

The OPLE worked with developers to look at the risk of dust from their different activities.  On hot and windy days they now:

  • isolate earthworks to parts of the development where dust emissions are unlikely
  • use water carts on roads to wet dust
  • stop work if they aren't able to keep dust to a reasonable level.

"This is a great example of where we have applied principles of the general environmental duty (GED) to achieve ongoing compliance. The responsibility lies with the dutyholder to assess and manage the risk", the OPLE said.

The PANs are still in place, and to date, there have not been any complaints of dust from local residents.

Reviewed 4 February 2021