The Environmental Health Department is responsible for maintaining public health, the prevention of disease and ensuring food safety for the community.
This is carried out through inspection and auditing of premises for compliance with Statutory Acts:
Under the Food Act 1984, Council is responsible for:
- Inspection and auditing of food establishments
- Sampling of local produce for compliance with the Food Code
- Investigating food borne incidents and complaints
For more information: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/foodsafety/regulatory_info/legislation.htm
Requirements for New Food Premises
All proprietors proposing to establish new food premises must comply with the Food Act 1984 and the Food Safety Standards Code.
Prior to the commencement of any building works it is advised that contact be made with Council's Environmental Health Officers to discuss your application and arrange for a site inspection.
If plans are available these could be submitted however this is not a mandatory requirement.
Prior to commencement of trade, an application to register a food premises must be submitted to council with the appropriate fee.
Food Safety Program
Prior to the premises becoming operative, a Food Safety Plan is required to be submitted.
Templates are available from Information Victoria or templates can be downloaded from www.foodsmart.vic.gov.au
Class 1 & 2 Food Premises are required to have a nominated Food Safety Supervisor who has completed an accredited Food Safety Supervisors course.
See below for further information and application forms:
Health and Wellbeing Act
Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009, Council is responsible for a number of activities, including:
- Inspecting Hair Salons and Skin Penetration establishments for appropriate hygiene procedures.
- Investigating infectious disease referrals from the Department of Health.
For more information visit: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/phwa/
Swimming Pools and Spas
Collection and analysis of water from public pools for compliance under the Health and Wellbeing Act.
Distribution of 'Sharps' containers to Diabetics
'Sharps' containers are provided "free" to residents. Collection and disposal is through Council Service Centres.
Rooming Houses must be registered with the Environmental Health Unit of the council.
A rooming house is defined as a building where one or more rooms are available for occupancy on payment of rent where the total number of people is four (4) or more.
Premises conducting Colonic Irrigation must also be registered
On January 1, 2009 the new Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 came into operation and replaced the previous Health Act 1958.
Under the new Act "Prescribed Accommodation" has been expanded to included ".... accommodation provided in the course of a person's employment".
Providing accommodation for more than six (6) employees must be registered with councils' health unit. Before registration is granted the premises must comply with Public Health and Building regulations.
If you have any enquires regarding the above please contact the Environmental Health Department on (03) 5734 6200.
Under the Tobacco Act 1987 and Tobacco Amendment (Protection of Children) Act 2009, Council is responsible for:
- Inspection of premises selling Tobacco products for compliance with relevant laws, including test purchases.
For more information: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/tobaccoreforms/legislation.htm
Environmental Protection Authority (Septic Tanks)
Under this Act, Council has the responsibility to approve the installation of septic tank systems. Council's Domestic Waste Management Plan was adopted by Council in 2006 which refers to site size for installation of septic systems.
Town Planning Referrals:
Environmental Health Officers investigate sites that require wastewater assessment and other environmental controls.
Septic Tank Systems dispose of treated effluent onto land. If not installed correctly, systems have the potential to discharge off the property, cause a health hazard and pollute nearby streams and watercourses. Septic tank and treatment systems can only be installed by a licensed contractor.
All systems must have approval from the Environmental Protection Authority. Details of approved systems can be found on the EPA website http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/
Systems generally fall into two categories:
- Septic tank and effluent lines
- Treatment plant with sub-surface irrigation / spray.
Alternative systems that may be considered are:
- Composting toilets
- Worm farms
The 'Permit to Install' will contain conditions that relate to the installation of the system, including:
- setback distances
- required inspections
- other conditions
See below for more information and application forms:
Residential Tenancies Act
Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA) contains provisions relating to residential tenancies, rooming houses and caravan parks. For more information click here for VCAT - Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Inspections of Caravan parks and campsites are carried out in order to maintain a high standard of amenities and hygiene.
Personal Care and Body Art Industries
- Beauty therapy procedures
- Body art-tattooing and piercing
- Colonic irrigation
- Physical therapies (massage, solaria, saunas, flotation tanks, spas and pools, gymnasium equipment and alternative therapies)
The Department of Health, Victoria has developed these guidelines to help businesses comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 by providing information on infection control. The guidelines are designed around a risk management approach:
- Infection control, legislative requirements, occupational health and safety issues, and how to clean, disinfect and sterilise instruments and equipment
- Industry specific information
- General information on risk analysis and management, to assist proprietors and operators to develop policies and procedures to improve infection control and prevention practices.
Health information sheets for clients
The Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 require proprietors of businesses undertaking skin penetration procedures (including tattooing and body piercing) to provide clients with information about the risks of infectious diseases before undertaking a procedure. The Department of Health has prepared health information sheets that proprietors can use.
There are also information sheets for other procedures that may present an infection risk. The Guideline can be downloaded in part or completely from the Department of Health, Victoria's website under Infectious Diseases - Publications and Guidelines: http://ideas.health.vic.gov.au/
The Environmental Health Department employs a Division 1 Nurse to carry out head lice inspections at Primary Schools at their request.