Public and Environmental Health

Council’s Environmental Health Unit consists of trained public health professionals and experienced administrative support staff.

The Unit provides a variety of environmental and public health services including health education and the enforcement of relevant State legislation.


Water quality ratings - River pools - Summer 2018/2019 - Final

Date Bright River Pool Porepunkah River Pool Porepunkah Toddler Pool
18 February 2019 Good N/A N/A
4 February 2019 FAIR N/A N/A
30 January 2019 FAIR Good Good
21 January 2019 Good Good Good
14 January 2019 Good Good Good
07 January 2019 Good Good Good
2 January 2019 Good Good Good


The most recent water quality result for the Bright River Pool identified an improvement in the water quality indicating the pool was once again suitable for all recreational activities, including swimming.

The River Pools water quality monitoring project routinely runs for the duration of the river pools' supervision program and finishes up the week after the Australia day long weekend. Due to the Bright River Pool returning Fair water quality results, monitoring of this pool was continued until results identified an improvement in the water quality. The latest result from testing undertaken on the 18 February 2019 identified this improvement and, once these results were received by Council, the alert signs at the Bright River Pool were removed and the River Pool Monitoring Project 2018/19 completed.

Council will be reviewing the project for the 2019/20 Summer River Pool Supervision program to ensure it is in line with updates to water quality guidance information. General Information on the 2018/19 season can still be found below:

General Information:

During the Summer school holidays, Council undertakes water quality sampling of the river pool in Bright and the river pool and toddler pool in Porepunkah.

Sampling is undertaken for E.coli organisms on a weekly basis, or more frequently as required. E.coli is recognised as an indicator in measuring faecal contamination of recreational freshwater bodies. EPA Victoria uses E.coli sampling for the Yarra Watch Project which provides guidance on the suitability of recreational activities in locations along the Yarra River.

Similar to the Yarra Watch project, Council uses the sampling results to provide advice to our community on the suitability of recreational activities in our river pools. Between the 21 December 2018 and the 31 January 2019, Council will provide regular updates, generally weekly, on the quality of our river pools based on the ratings below:

• Good water quality – Indicates that the water quality is suitable for all recreational activities including swimming.

• Fair water quality – Indicates that the water quality is generally not suitable for swimming, but is suitable for rowing, kayaking and other non-direct water contact activities. Swimming is not recommended. Avoid all water-based recreational activities for 24-48hrs after heavy rains.

• Poor water quality – Indicates that the water quality is NOT suitable for swimming, but is generally suitable for rowing, kayaking and other non-direct water contact activities. Do not swim during poor water quality events. Avoid all water-based recreational activities for 24-48hrs after heavy rains.

• Unsuitable for recreation water quality – Indicates that the water quality is not suitable for any water-based recreational activities. Contact with the water should be avoided during unsuitable water quality events.

Council may advise against using the river pools and associated equipment when the water quality is unsuitable for swimming; this is when the quality is determined to be fair, poor or unsuitable. Undertaking recreational activities outside the water quality guidance above may result in a potential risk to health.

It is acknowledged that the sampling program provides an indication of recreational water quality only, and does not give a specific measure of health risk on any given day. The results relate to water-based recreational activities only and are only considered representative of the River Pool described. River users should take care at all times and not swallow river water. Drinking of the river water is not recommended.

At all times, river users need to be mindful of other potential hazards such as high flows, unseen objects and litter. It is also recommended to avoid swimming 24-48 hours after heavy rain regardless of the water quality rating.

For further information on how the water quality ratings are determined, please see the River Pool Water Quality Ratings Information page.

Application form - Wastewater systems (septic tanks)

Application Forms - Health Premises (Hairdressers, Beauty Parlours, Skin Penetration)

Notification forms - Food premises (Class 4/fixed) and vending machines

Caravan parks

The Residential Tenancies Act requires registration of all caravan parks. Many caravan parks also operate a kiosk and as such registration under the Food Act may also be required.

All caravan parks are required to have in place an Emergency Management Plan. It is advisable to obtain a copy of this plan prior to taking over so that you are fully aware of your obligations under that plan.

If you intend opening or buying a caravan park, please talk with Council’s Environmental Health Officers.

Caravan Park Fire Safety Guidelines - CFA
Caravan Park Emergency Management Plan Template – Vic SES
Flood Safe Information for Caravan Parks - Vic SES

Heatwave Plan

Council has developed a Heatwave Plan to address the increase in the number of days of very high temperatures and the fact that these have the ability to affect people's health.

The Strategy has been developed under Council's Emergency Management Plan and is available HERE.

Food premises

Food Act legislation
The Victorian Food Act 1984, along with the Food Standards Code and the Food Safety Standards, cover all businesses that handle, pack, prepare and sell food. Therefore all businesses, regardless of their size, that are involved with food, must be registered, and must comply with the requirements of the legislation.

Please be aware of the;
Food premises guidelines which cover design and construction,
Food Premises (vehicles),
Food Safety supervisor,
Food poisoning and complaints,
New and Altering a Kitchen - Food Premises Planning Guide - plans and specifications
Maintenance Schedule,
Cleaning and Sanitising,
Thermometers - Requirements of Food Safety Standards,

Bed and Breakfast Establishments - Guidelines

Specific information on Bed and Breakfast accommodation and guest houses;
Guidelines and
Signage Application

Food Safety Supervisor Qualifications and Requirements

More information about Food Safety Supervisor Qualifications and Requirements is available here.

Single registration / approval for temporary and mobile food premises and street traders to operate in Victoria

Temporary and mobile food premises:

Temporary food stalls are sites that are not permanently fixed, where food is sold, prepared or handled. These include stalls and tents at fetes, farmers markets, craft markets, shows, festivals or other short term events.

Mobile food premises are vehicles such as vans, trailers or carts from which food is sold.

Registration of new businesses:

Streatrader is a new website that allows registration and notification of temporary and mobile food business to the customer’s principal council.

The customer no longer needs to fill out paperwork for multiple councils where they operate.

Operators of temporary and mobile food premises - including community groups need to access the website and proceed to complete the application online. The relevant council will be notified. The fees and charges will be advised via this website.

How to register:

1. Login to the Streatrader website.

2. Answer questions about your food handling activities to determine your food
safety risk classification and fees to pay.

3. Submit your form on Streatrader.

If the customer has any problems with the website application they can call 1300 085 767.

Information for Temporary Food Premises / Stalls / Mobile Premises and Community Food Selling Events

The Victorian Department of Health has developed a short video and interactive website to help community groups understand and meet their food safety obligations when selling food to raise funds in Victoria.

The video provides an informative insight into community fund-raising activities while the website covers a range of topics, including community group obligations under the Victorian Food Act.

To view the website and video please go to

A - Z of Food Safety

For an A - Z of Food Safety, click here.

Health and infectious disease regulations (pools and spas)

Any premises that operates a swimming pool/spa, available to the public, must meet the requirements under the Health (infectious Disease) Regulations 2001.

These Regulations govern public swimming pools and public spa pool standards.

The potential for outbreaks of infectious diseases through the use of pools, if not maintained to the standards specified in the Regulations, can be high.

Part 7 of the Regulations outlines the minimum requirements to ensure that the pool operates for the benefit of the patrons.

Download the Pool Operators Handbook here.

Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Surveillance

This site includes the Blue Book (Guidelines for the control of infectious diseases), along with various other fact sheets, guidelines, standards and legislation for the investigation, control and prevention of infectious diseases in a range of settings.

To access this information click here.

Health premises

Personal care and body art industries guidelines

The principle purpose of this set of guidelines is to assist those involved in the personal care and body art industry to comply with the Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 2001 by providing information on:
(1) how infection can be associated with the procedures employed in the industry, and
(2) precautions to protect clients and employees.

For more information please read the Health premises guidelines or visit$FILE/health_guidelines.pdf

Application to register a health premises
Application to transfer registration of a health premises

Fees - Premises registration 2017/18

Find below a schedule of fees for the annual registration and renewal of registration of premises under the:
Food Act 1984
Residential Tenancies Act 1997
Section 74 Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
Environment Protection Act 1970

> Premises registration fees

Private Water Supplies (tanks, bores)

If you live outside a township in a rural or semi-rural area, it is likely that the water you drink is obtained from private water tanks or bores. This may also be the case for any accommodation and food businesses in these areas. It is important that water from these supplies is maintained regularly and not contaminated. Please access the Alpine Shire private water supply (tanks bores) maintenance and disinfection fact sheet for further information regarding maintenance and disinfection.

Further information on rainwater tanks is available on the Victorian government's Health information website, or the brochure ‘Your Private Drinking Water Supply'.

Information regarding private groundwater extraction bores is available at the Department of Health and Primary Industries website or at the Our water our future website.

Head lice

For information on head lice, please visit the Department of Human Services website.

Also general Information about head lice can be found at the following sites: - an excellent award winning, Australian based website containing accurate information and original research about head lice. It offers very practical and easy to follow advice to deal with the frustration of head lice (pediculosis). - National Pediculosis Association Inc. (NPA) is a non-profit American based health and education agency, dedicated to protecting children from the misuse and abuse of potentially harmful lice and scabies pesticidal treatments. The NPA are advocates of 'no-nit' policy.


Residential noise
It is part of life that we all make noise, whether we are talking to others, playing music, entertaining, mowing the lawn, working around the house or just going about our daily business. What is enjoyable to one person may be noise to another. Excessive noise can affect people’s quality of life.

Police and Council officers can require offenders to cease unreasonable noise. Police are best placed to respond to late night noise such as parties, or issues where alcohol or threatening behaviour is involved . Council officers are most suited to address long-term issues, involving prescribed items, plant and equipment, machine and animal noise. Investigations of complex issues may require a collaborative approach between both Council officers and police officers.

Information about residential noise and what you can do about it can be found on the EPA website below.

EPA website - Residential Noise information
EPA publication - Annoyed by noise?

Animal noise
Barking dogs, bird and other animal noise are regulated under provisions in either Council's Local Law or more specific leglislation under the Domestic Animals Act or nuisance provisions of the Health Act

Contact Council Local Laws Officers or Environmental Health Officers for specific advice.

Other noise
EPA has guidelines for other types of noise to assist local government in resolving complaints. These guidelines cover noise from construction sites, domestic refuse collections, commercial and industrial noise, and motor vehicles.

Further information can be obtained by visiting the EPA website:

EPA website - Noise prevention and control in Victoria
EPA website - Noise publications and resources

Bird scare guns
The control of bird scare guns is regulated under the following Council policy:

Policy for Control of Noise From Scare Guns

Registering a new or existing business

If you are planning to open a new business, whether it be a business that sells, prepares or handles food, provides accommodation, a hairdresser/beauty parlour services, conducts skin penetration activities (ear piercing and tattooing), or operates a caravan park, there is legislation in place that requires the registration of these businesses with Council.

Registration commences the day that you are approved and issued with your certificate of registration. All registrations issued expire on 31 December each year.

An application to renew registration must be submitted before the current registration expires. The application fee that is paid with the first registration covers the initial inspections of the premises and approval of the plans.

Premises registered under either the Public Health and Well Being Act, Food Act or Residential Tenancies Act are required to meet minimum standards for construction, fit out and general operation. Before purchasing an existing business, there are a number of steps that you should take.

Further information:
Anyone contemplating opening a new business should also make contact with the following organisations. They may be able to provide you with additional assistance and let you know if any other approvals, registrations or licences will be required. This list is not exhaustive but may be of assistance.

Within Council (ph: 03 5755 0555)
* Statutory planning - for town planning advice
* Building - for any building/fire compliance requirements
* Local laws - for advice in relation to advertising signs on footpaths and street furniture
* Rates office - to discuss what rates and charges are likely to apply

Other contacts:
* North East Region Water Authority - for advice on water supply and grease traps - ph: 1300 361 622 or
* Liquor Licensing Victoria - ph: 9655 6696
* Consumer and Business Affairs Victoria - ph: 1300 558 181

Tobacco legislation enforcement

Over the past few years a number of new laws controlling tobacco have come into effect in Victoria. As a result we can now enjoy a smoke-free environment while eating out, tobacco advertisements and promotions have been limited, shopping centres are now smoke free and as of 1 September 2007, smoking in gaming venues and licensed premises was also restricted. The laws are also aimed at reducing the sale of cigarettes and tobacco to children.

Complaints about sale of tobacco products to children are to be referred to Council’s Environmental Health unit for investigation. Council’s Enviornmental Health Officers also ensure that tobacco advertising and point of sale display comply with the Tobacco Act and that required “Warning Signs” are displayed.

For further information about the new laws please visit - or contact Council’s Environmental Health unit for a brochure - 'Selling Tobacco - Learn The New Laws'.


The Environmental Health team cover a range of other services for which information sheets are available at the bottom of this page.

European wasps

European wasps are well established within the Alpine Shire. Council's Local Law No. 5 (Amenity) Clause 20 requires landowners to remove / destroy European wasp nests on private land. If required, Council can give written direction for this to occur.

It is Council's responsibility to manage nests on municipal (Council-managed) land. Council encourages members of the public to report nests so they can be treated as soon as possible. Nests found on Crown Land should be referred to the relevant land owner / land manager, i.e. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). Council may assist in referring complaints to DELWP if nest locations are easily identified. European wasps can only be controlled by finding the nest and destroying it.

The European wasp, Vespula germanica, is most easily identifiable by:
• Its black and yellow body;
• Its yellow legs; and
• Triangular markings on the abdomen.
While the European wasp is the same size as a bee (10 - 15mm), it is less hairy and folds its wings back at rest. Queen European wasps have identical markings and colouring, except are larger.

Do not aggravate a European wasp
If a European wasp is aggravated it may sting. Unlike the bee, a European wasp can sting multiple times. If left undisturbed the European wasp is not aggressive to humans or other animals.
If a nest is disturbed, the wasps release a chemical which triggers the wasps to defend the nest.

Finding the nest
In order for the nest to be destroyed you need to locate the nest. To find the nest you need to establish the direction the wasps are flying. To do this, place a food source (i.e. meat or pet food) in a visible location. Once the wasp has collected the food, it will fly in a direct line to the nest.

Observing the flight path of the wasp during the early morning sunrise or evening setting sun is best. A wasp may be scavenging for food up to 500m from the nest. Keep relocating the food sources in the direction of the nest. You may need to work cooperatively with your neighbours.

Nests are located where shelter is available. The most common location for nests is underground and nests will be evident by a stream of wasps entering and leaving a hole in the ground. Nests are also found in retaining walls, hollows of trees and wall cavities. The nest is made of grey paper mache-type material. Nests constructed of mud are not European wasp nests.

Useful information:

Wasp life cycle
Museum Victoria information
Wasp treatment

Managing Food Waste

Managing food waste and complying with the law

Food waste containing meat, other animal by-products, some dairy products and any food that has come into contact with these prohibited foods must not be fed to pigs.

These foods can contain viruses that cause diseases in animals, such as foot-and-mouth disease. These viruses are not destroyed by chilling, freezing, curing or cooking.

Some examples of food that must not be provided to farmers includes:
• vegetables, rice, pasta and other food that has been in direct contact with meat or meat products
• pizza bun rolls, meat pies
• bacon and cheese rolls, salad rolls containing meat
• Caesar salad (because it contains bacon pieces)
• steak, hamburgers, sausages, butcher’s shop waste
• milk products such as yoghurt, butter and cheese.

Businesses that prepare and sell food, such as restaurants, bakeries, hotels, fast food outlets and hospitals, have a responsibility to dispose of food waste appropriately.

Prohibited food waste should be placed in an appropriate garbage bin for collection by the council or commercial waste service for disposal in landfill or composting at an appropriate recycling facility.

Illegal activities include:
• feeding prohibited food waste to pigs
• supplying prohibited food waste to feed pigs
• collecting prohibited food waste from food premises to provide to a piggery.

More information on these restrictions, including translated factsheets in Arabic, Mandarin and Vietnamese, is available from the Department of Economic Development.

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