Reporting pollution

Environmental nuisance and other local issues

Most reports about environmental issues are handled by your local government. These include reports about nuisance and water contamination issues from residential as well as commercial and industrial premises. Local governments deal with such issues using environmental nuisance laws, water contamination laws and town planning laws.

For example:

  • Nuisance such as noise, dust and odour from non-government entities, e.g. residences, commercial buildings, industrial buildings.
  • Water pollution from the release of contaminants such as sediment, detergents, paints, oils and other chemicals.
  • Pollution from activities with permits issued by local government, e.g. asphalt plants, boat maintenance facilities, plastics manufacturing facilities, metal forming workshops and surface coating workshops.

How to report environmental nuisance

  • For most of these types of issues you should talk to your local government.
  • Each local government has a complaint resolution process you can follow if you’re believe the process was not effective.
  • You may also contact the Queensland Ombudsman to request a review of the actions taken (before you contact the Ombudsman, ensure you have followed your local government’s complaint resolution process first).

Note: For noise issues relating to vehicles, the Police are the responsible entity. For noise issues relating to hotels and licenced restaurants the Liquor licencing authority is the responsible entity. For further information, the Queensland Government has developed a noise fact sheet (PDF, 221 KB) to assist local councils, residents and businesses understand how noise is intended to be managed for our communities.

Significant pollution incidents

Reports about significant pollution incidents can be made to us via the Pollution Hotline. We are responsible for undertaking compliance activities on industries and activities that pose a greater environmental risk.

Examples of significant pollution incidents include:

  • significant fish kills (not including bycatch)
  • chemical truck/vehicle rollovers
  • factory fires (if a premises is currently on fire call 000 immediately)
  • pipeline breaks
  • major sewage spills.

In addition, we handle pollution reports from activities with permits issued by the Queensland Government. These are higher risk industries which require direct regulation under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 such as:

We also handle reports where nuisance and pollution comes from government entities such as:

  • local government work depots (where works have been done by a local/state employee and not a contractor. If it is a contractor contact the relevant local government).
  • State schools
  • State hospitals.

Note: This category excludes complaints about work by private contractors on State-owned land.

Suspected unlicensed waste transport, storage disposal or recycling activities may also be reported to us.

How to report significant pollution incidents


To report pollution incidents to the Queensland Government:

  • phone the 24/7 Pollution Hotline—1300 130 372 (option 2)
  • Pollution incidents can be reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When phoning the Pollution Hotline be ready with as much of the following information as possible:

  • your details (name, phone, address, email)
  • alleged offender’s details (name, business name, phone, address, email, website, number plate)
  • time and date of incident or activity
  • location of incident or activity
  • description of incident or activity
  • description of environmental values being affected.

If you are reporting an issue specific to the Swanbank Industrial Area, you can select Option 3 when you dial 1300 130 372.


You can fill in and submit an online environment incident report, which you can access from your desktop or mobile device.

You can also elect to receive a copy of your submitted report by email.


Alternatively, you can fill in and email a form:

Reports that do not relate to nuisance matters can be made anonymously. However, follow up actions may be limited when making anonymous reports. For more information discuss the making of anonymous reports with the department.

Related information

View our Customer Service Charter (PDF, 241 KB) .