Armidale Regional Council said it will not be able to reduce wood smoke pollution without the support of the community

A PLAN to improve air quality will not go ahead without community backing.

Armidale Regional Council mayor Simon Murray said the council and NSW Environmental Protection Agency would need to engage with the public.

“Council’s existing wood heater local approvals policy has not changed,” Cr Murray said.

“Wood heaters have not been banned, however approval is still required from council prior to installation.

”Wood smoke pollution in Armidale city has been an ongoing issue for many years.”

Councillors voted to rescind a motion submission to the Local Government NSW Conference on wood smoke management in November.

But, the Community Strategic Plan 2017 to 2027 includes an outcome to improve air quality across the region.

That includes reducing smoke pollution with alternative energy sources.

The National Safety Standard for air pollution is exceeded regularly over winter, Cr Murray said.

“To help address this issue we need the Armidale community’s support to be vigilant for excessive wood smoke from chimneys,” he said.

“And, take the time to learn how to use your wood heater to ensure you significantly reduce wood smoke emissions.

“Council and the Armidale community must work together to reduce wood smoke pollution in the city.”