Members of the Yarra Ranges community nominated to be involved in the EPA pilot.

For many, involvement in the pilot project was connected to their concern about wellbeing, discomfort and impacts on lifestyle and enjoyment of their property because of smoke. Community participants represented themselves, in addition to community groups such as Warburton Environment Inc. Some community participants were also active in other smoke air pollution forums such as My Air Quality Australia, Clean Air Communities and the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Victoria.

It is important to note the community engaged in this pilot project does not necessarily represent the views of all residents living in the area.

Pilot format

Through three intensive, three-hour workshops in March, April and May 2021, EPA worked alongside community participants to develop the actions presented in this report. The three workshops:

  • sought to provide a greater understanding of smoke's behaviour in the environment and impacts on human health, including how to better use wood heaters and burn wood in ways to reduce emissions from wood stoves at home
  • delivered presentations from guest speakers including the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV), Yarra Ranges Council, Australian Catholic University and EPA
  • collated the perspectives of community and state government agencies to inform development of a community-led action plan for reducing smoke’s impacts on human health.

The pilot project participants developed the 13 actions. The actions reflect areas where the community would like to focus future efforts and work with one another, local and state governments to promote positive change in the areas of smoke and health.

Reviewed 20 September 2021