Public and Environmental Health

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

As of 30 January 2020 the Bright and Porepunkah river pools are open. Water quality has returned to a level that is suitable for all recreational activities, including swimming.

River Pool Water Quality Sampling 2019/20 Summer Season

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 of water quality in freshwater bodies used for swimming and other recreational activities.

Council may issue a Water Quality Warning for the river pools and associated equipment when the water quality is unsuitable for recreation. See Water Quality Warning information below.

It is acknowledged that the sampling project provides an indication of recreational water quality only, and does not give a specific measure of the health risk on any given day. Drinking of the river water is not recommended.

River users should take care at all times, including observing any warning signs and checking for physical hazards before entering the river. It is also recommended to avoid swimming 24-48 hours after heavy rain regardless of the water quality rating.

River Pool Water Quality Warning

Council will notify the public of a water quality warning for our river pools via Council’s website, providing social media alerts, placing signage at the pools, closing the facilities (slide/diving board) and removing lifeguards where feasible.

Undertaking recreational activities in the river pools during a warning may result in a potential risk to health. People who choose to continue to use the river pools do so at their own risk.

When the warning is no longer current, Council’s website and social media will be updated, signage at the pools will be removed, and lifeguard and equipment operation will resume as normal.

Council’s Environmental Health Department is happy to provide further information if requested.

Caravan Parks

The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 requires registration of all caravan parks. Many caravan parks also operate a kiosk and as such registration under the Food Act 1984 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.

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 Municipal Emergency Management Plan.

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.

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.

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 a customer has any problems with the streatrader website application please 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 1984.

A - Z of Food Safety

For an A - Z of Food Safety.

Health and Infectious Disease - Pools and Spas (Aquatic Facilities)

Any premises that operates an aquatic facility, available to the public, must meet the requirements under the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.

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 6 of the Regulations outlines the minimum requirements to ensure that an aquatic facility operates in a manner that ensures the health and wellbeing of its patrons.

Download the Pool Operators Handbook.

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 Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 by providing information on:

  • How infection can be associated with the procedures employed in the industry, and
  • Precautions to protect clients and employees.

For more information please read the Health premises guidelines.

Contact Council for application forms to register or transfer registration of a health premises.

Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Surveillance

The HealthVic website (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.

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. 

Further information on rainwater tanks is available on the HealthVic website.

Information regarding private groundwater extraction bores is available on the Department of Land Water and Planning Website.

Head Lice

For information on head lice, please visit the HealthVic Website.


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 at EPA - Residential Noise information and the 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 1994 or nuisance provisions of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

Contact Council's Local Laws Officers or Environmental Health Officers for specific advice. 03 5755 0555 or   

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 EPA - Noise publications and resources

Bird scare guns
The control of bird scare guns is regulated under the Bird Scare Gun policy a section of incorporated documents for the Community Local Law 2019.

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 2008, Food Act 1984 or Residential Tenancies Act 1997 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  03 5755 0555 or email
* 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 
* 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 1987 and that required “Warning Signs” are displayed.

European Wasps

European wasps are well established within the Alpine Shire. Council's Community Local Law 2019 - Clause 3.10 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). 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.

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