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Public and Aboriginal Health Division
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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH e-NEWS
Produced by the Environmental Health Directorate (EHD)
July 2020
CONSULTATION OPEN
 
Consultation is now open on the: 

Air-handling review: Part 2
 
UPDATES
 
Events registration reminder
As many events previously cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions are likely to be rescheduled, and new events are being planned, the Environmental Health Directorate (EHD) will be reinstating the 'events calendar' to ensure emergency services are aware of all planned events. Event organisers and local governments are encouraged to register approved events. Please email event details to public.events@health.wa.gov.au until the registration form is back online. 
Local government regulatory reporting
The 2019-20 Local Government Food Act and Public Health Act reporting requirements are now open. Reports must be submitted to the Department by 31 August 2020. A letter advising of the reporting requirements and the reporting questions have been sent to all local government CEOs. Visit the Public Health Act Reporting or Food Act reporting webpages for more information.
 
WA Food Monitoring Program survey recommencing
The WA Food Monitoring Program has now recommenced. This includes the agricultural chemical residue testing of fresh fruit and vegetables 2020 survey that was suspended in April 2020. Local government participants may now recommence submission of samples for analysis in accordance with the survey plan.
 
Auditors report - consumer food safety by local government
The Office of the Auditor General undertook an audit of 2 large local governments to determine their effectiveness in regulating consumer food safety in food businesses within their local area. A number of recommendations have been identified. Read the report and watch the presentation on the Auditor General website
Unseasonal RRV activity in South West
Ross River virus (RRV) has been detected in multiple mosquito traps in the South West, from Mandurah to Capel, for the first time this year. The timing is unusual, as mosquito and mosquito-borne virus activity is often reduced in the winter months. Read the Department's latest media statement for more information (26 June  2020). 
Phase 4, 5 and 6 COVID-19
The WA Government has updated the COVID-19 roadmap to include details of phase 5 and 6. Depending on infection rates locally and interstate (e.g. Victoria), Phase 5 is planned to be introduced on Saturday, 18 July and will result in the removal of the 2 square metre rule. It is also expected to see the removal of all gathering restrictions, other COVID-related rules introduced by the WA Government, and the 50 per cent capacity limit for major venues. Phase 6 may include the removal of WA’s hard border with the rest of the country and travel restrictions currently in place for remote Aboriginal communities. 
Changes to health fees and charges
Fees charged for a range of licensing and applications associated with health legislation, including Acts related to Food, Radiation Safety, Tobacco Products Control and Miscellaneous Provisions, have been increased and specified in the Health Regulations Amendment (Fees and Charges) Regulations 2019.
Ehrlichiosis in Kimberley dogs
Ehrlichiosis has been detected in local dogs in WA for the first time. The bacteria (Ehrlichia canis) is transmitted by the brown dog tick, and whilst rare, it can be transmitted to people. Direct transmission from dogs to dogs, and dogs to people, does not occur. Register your interest in collecting ticks to assist EHD in determining the distribution of E.canis in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions.
Reminder - septic tanks are approved individually
When sizing a dual-tank septic system, applicants are reminded to make sure that the minimum capacity of combined tanks satisfy the requirements of Regulations 28 and 29 for residential and commercial installations, respectively. Each septic tank is approved individually, therefore every combination of the tanks will need to be checked in meeting the requirements.
 
Fee increase - apparatus for treatment of sewage applications
The Chief Health Officer application fee has increased to $72 as per the Health (Treatment of Sewage and Disposal of Effluent and Liquid Waste) Regulations 1974. This fee came into effect on 1 July 2020. Please adjust your records and application forms accordingly. For more details check the updated application form on the Department's website.
Reminder - certification of onsite wastewater systems due
Certification for all onsite wastewater treatment systems against the relevant Australian Standard must be submitted to the EHD by 31 December 2020. If no current certification is provided, previously approved products will no longer be listed on the Department's website as an approved system. Only approved wastewater systems can be used in WA. It is important to regularly check the Department's website for the most up-to-date list of approved wastewater systems. 
Export Control Act authorised officers
The EHD works in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) in regards to export registered food businesses. Specifically, the EHD manages and audits Export Registered Australian Standard Establishments (Tier 1) on behalf of the DAWE, which includes export registered red meat boning rooms and abattoirs. EHD officers who undertake this work are required to be authorised officers under the Export Control Act 1982, which requires a vigorous training and application process. In June 2020, the first EHD officer was granted authorisation to exercise the functions and powers to undertake the required work.
Local government Legionnaires' Disease investigations
The EHD assisted several local governments (LG) in investigating a cluster of Legionnaires’ Disease cases across WA over the past few months. While no common source was detected, it serves as a timely reminder of potential public health risks that may be lurking in the community. Guidance on the role of LG in an investigation and decontamination procedures are available online. LG are reminded to provide comment on the consultation paper for the Air Handling and Water Systems of Commercial Buildings Review, which proposes enhanced roles for LG.
CONSULTATION OPEN
 
Consultation is currently open on the following discussion paper.
Reminder: Proposed air-handling regulation content - Part 2
The Air-handling and water systems of commercial buildings review – Part 2 has been released for 3 month consultation ending on the 31 August 2020. The key focus of Part 2 is to obtain feedback through the online survey on the proposed regulation content to manage the public health risks associated with commercial air-handling (e.g. cooling towers) and water systems. 
Events and training opportunities

No events at this stage
Contact us
The Environmental Health Directorate can be contacted on (08) 9222 2000 or ehinfo@health.wa.gov.au 
Order publications online
A selection of hard copy Environmental Health Directorate resources can be ordered online using the Department of Health’s
online publication ordering system. Create an account and enter the search category "environmental health".
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Phone: (08) 9222 2000
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 8172
Perth Business Centre WA 6849
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Environmental Health Directorate, Department of Health WA · PO BOx 8172 · Perth Business Centre, WA 6849 · Australia