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The Department of Health and Human Services, local councils and EPA all have important roles in broader public health protection and promoting improved community health and wellbeing.
WorkSafe Victoria is responsible for occupational health and safety queries.
EPA’s health responsibilities
EPA is responsible for managing public health queries as they relate to hazards and human health impacts from past, present and potential future waste and pollution events. EPA can provide advice about health concerns and management of the following:
- asbestos (from commercial or industrial waste or transport of waste)
- dust (from an industrial source)
- odour (from an industrial source)
- noise (from an industrial source)
- smoke and air quality. Please see the State Smoke Framework.
- non-communicable (not infectious) disease that may be related to pollution or waste
- biological agents related to pollution and waste (for example, sewage)
- clinical (infectious) waste
- waste management and landfills
- clandestine laboratories (guidance for local council)
- treated timber
- chemical contamination of recreationally caught fish
- indoor air quality (when affected by outside sources)
- contaminated land.
Local council’s health responsibilities
Local councils can respond to nuisance queries under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 that may relate to pollution and waste issues. EPA is able to provide councils with assistance when required. Councils can provide health advice on the following:
- asbestos (dumped or from a domestic source)
- dust (from a domestic or commercial source)
- odour (from a domestic or commercial source)
- noise (from a domestic or commercial source)
- agricultural spray drift
- clandestine laboratories
- wood heater smoke
- domestic burning
- health in the heat.
Department of Health and Human Services’ health responsibilities
The Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for managing environmental public health queries that are not related to pollution or waste. DHHS can provide health advice on the following areas:
- radiation (including clinical and radiological waste)
- food safety
- drinking water safety
- Heat Health Plan for Victoria
- communicable diseases and other notifiable conditions (for example, from food, water borne and other environmental pathogens)
- Legionella/cooling towers
- pest control operators
- non-communicable diseases (not related to pollution and waste)
- blood lead notifications under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
- climate change and health
- advice about health impacts from consumer products (with Consumer Affairs Victoria)
- indoor air quality (relating to gas appliances and mould)
- indoor contamination resulting from flooding, sewage overflow and mould
- blue-green algae
- complementary/alternative medicines.