Public and Aboriginal Health Division
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Produced by the Environmental Health Directorate (EHD)
September 2020
Executive Director of Environmental Health appointed
Dr Michael Lindsay has recently been appointed as the Executive Director of the Environmental Health Directorate, after acting in the position for the past 18 months. Mike has over 21 year's experience within the EHD, holding a previous position as the Managing Scientist of the Biological and Applied Environmental Health Hazards Unit. Mike is also an Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Science at UWA. We wish Mike great success in his new role. 
New EHD Strategic Plan released
The Environmental Health Directorate Strategic Plan 2020-2023 sets the direction of the EHD for the next three years, helping to explain why we exist and what we do for the people of WA. The Plan (summarised into one page) outlines three core strategic outcomes, eight objectives, and six organisational supporting priorities that aim to improve the delivery of our services to staff and our stakeholders. An action plan is submitted by the seven program areas each year outlining projects necessary to meet our strategic outcomes. Any feedback can be directed to EH Stakeholder Engagement.
EHD Yearbook 2019 - 2020
The EHD has released its tenth Yearbook, which showcases the team's performance and highlights the initiatives of the EHD during the 2019-2020 financial year. The success of many of our projects would not happen without the support, collaboration and partnerships with our many stakeholders, particularly the local government environmental health workforce. We hope you enjoy reading about the activities of the EHD. Any feedback can be directed to EH Stakeholder Engagement.
Evaluation findings Play it Food Safe campaign pilot
A summary of the campaign findings for the Play it Food Safe campaign pilot are now available. The findings highlight gaps in food safety knowledge and identify the priority campaign messages that will be most effective to promote during the 2020-2021 summer season, including messaging around chicken, eggs, as well as the four campaign calls to action Clean | Separate | Cook | Chill.  
Local government support to promote Play it Food Safe campaign over summer
Local government support is needed to help promote the Play it Food Safe consumer campaign throughout November 2020 to February 2021, the time of year when the incidence of food-borne illnesses peaks. The EHD encourages you to read the Campaign Toolkit, review the campaign materials webpage and look at ways to promote the educational materials over the coming summer. Support to identify local partners to promote the campaign materials is encouraged. Queries can be directed to Food Safety
Phase 5 delayed - COVID-19
Phase 5 of the WA COVID-19 roadmap, has been delayed. The new tentative date for Phase 5 will now be Saturday, 24 October 2020. A final decision on whether Phase 5 can proceed on this date will be communicated closer to the time. Phase 5 would see remaining restrictions removed, except WA’s hard border and access to remote Aboriginal communities. It would also see the removal of WA’s 2 square metre rule and the 50 per cent capacity for our major venues.
Event approvals and FAQs
With Phase 4 extended, the Closure and Restriction (Limit the Spread) Directions No. 5 will be updated and expected to be released mid-September (to come into force prior to the long weekend) to address issues related to events. Until the updated Direction is released, local government is requested not to issue final approvals for applications under Section 178 of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911 or Regulation 9A of the Health (Public Buildings) Regulations 1992 for events to be held after the 25th September until after updated Directions are released. Read the FAQs here. The EHD and the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre will host a webinar briefing for EHOs, local government and event organisers, once further information is available. 
New tobacco law 
On the 18th September 2020 a new tobacco legislative change comes into force which means that no person under the age of 18 can sell tobacco products to consumers.This new amendment falls in line with the intent of the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 in reducing the exposure of tobacco products on minors.
All about Allergens: training for food service
All about allergens is a free online national training course designed to assist proprietors and workers in any food business to gain knowledge about food allergens and to develop best practice procedures for making their food business safe for customers with allergies. Local governments are encouraged to promote the course to local food businesses. A second consumer education Food Allergen Aware site is also available to improve public education. 
Reminder: Local government reporting deadline
The Department of Health would like to thank the local governments that have submitted their reports on the performance of functions under the Food Act and Public Health Act. This year 77% of local governments submitted their reports by the 31 August deadline. Local governments that have not yet submitted a report should submit reports online as soon as possible.
The rise in unqualified meth testing companies
Many problems have emerged concerning operators testing and cleaning houses potentially contaminated by meth residues, including over servicing, using alarmist language and often using inappropriate methods. Many complainants have been unaware of the extensive EHD guidance available on illicit drug activities, testing and clean-up procedures and the list of companies qualified for testing and remediating chemical residues. Local governments are encouraged to provide links to the illicit drug information on your websites including the HealthyWA and Corporate Illicit drug pages. The EHD will be launching an outreach program to counteract unqualified company activities. 
Egg farm sampling study
The Salmonella Outbreak Response Taskforce, in association with the WA Foodborne Illness Reduction Strategy, collaborated with local government environment health officers and an egg producer in the South-West region to undertake comprehensive on-farm sampling to better understand Salmonella risks in the primary egg production environment. Key findings will be used to develop on-farm traceback methods following reports of illness as part of wider efforts to reduce the incidence of egg-related Salmonellosis.
Online meetings
Staff are utilising Microsoft Teams for online chat and meetings with external stakeholders. This is now one of our preferred methods of participating in meetings around WA, and nationally. With the borders closed, Microsoft Teams has provided an opportunity for improved efficiency by reducing long distance travel, saving significant time and costs, and ensuring the right staff can attend online. Microsoft teams is free to download to allow meeting participation. 
Aquatic facility fencing checks
The approach of warmer weather will see an increase in public aquatic facilities re-opening. EHOs are reminded to check that pool fencing is well maintained, objects that provide an opportunity for children to climb over fencing are removed and other safety features such as water depth markings are clearly visible. 
Campfire newsletter - Aboriginal Environmental Health
Despite the various barriers to regular service delivery throughout the regions related to COVID-19, Aboriginal Environmental Health Service Providers have adapted and responded with confidence, keeping communities well informed and equipped. The EHD thanks and acknowledges the enthusiasm of the workforce in responding to requests for help in distributing food/supplies and COVID-19 information packs. Read more about Aboriginal EH initiatives in the Campfire Newsletter.

Consultation will open for the following discussion paper over the coming months. 
Coming soon - Wastewater regulation review 
A discussion paper for the review of wastewater management in WA is being finalised and is anticipated for release during October for a 3 month consultation process. 
Contact us
The Environmental Health Directorate can be contacted on (08) 9222 2000 or 
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