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Public Health Public Health

What is a Public Health Risk?

The Public Health Act 2005 governs defined public health risks.  A public health risk is something that is likely to be harmful to human health or contribute to disease in humans, including rats, mice and mosquitoes. This may also include things like waste, water, dead or living animals and harmful substances in the environment.   Local Government looks after most public health risks but that Act also allows a partnership where both state and local governments can work together to reduce, control or prevent them. If a person is causing or contributing to a public health risk, they may be ordered to fix the problem.
The legislation also allows control of public health risks through making standards or rules for things (e.g. permits for animals, pest proofing standards for buildings). Local Government Officers can also perform inspections to make sure the standards are being followed.
Programs may be carried out to prevent or control a plague of rats, mice, mosquitoes and other designated pests, or an outbreak of disease in humans caused by such pests. These programs will be advertised to the public and may include such things as mosquito eradication programs.
If a particularly serious event occurs whose effects would have serious long term harmful effects for human health, the government can set up a register for the event. This register would gather information from people who have suffered health effects from the event. The information would be used to help monitor negative effects on human health and prevent or minimize any negative health effects from that or a similar event. 
What’s not a Public Health Risk?
The Public Health Act 2005 does not include snakes as a public health risk. Council looks after overgrown and unsightly allotments. Our management of overgrown and unsightly allotments helps reduce the likelihood of snake encounters. For more information on overgrown allotments please refer to our web page http://www.hinchinbrook.qld.gov.au/web/guest/147 .
Need More Information on Specific Public Health Risks?
To access specific information on:
How do I let Council know of a Public Health Risk?

To log a request or for further information about this please contact Environmental Health Services on 4776 4607 or email hschealth@hinchinbrook.qld.gov.au