Environmental Health

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What is a Nuisance?

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 a nuisance is defined as 'something that is or is liable to be, dangerous to health or offensive'. Offensive can be defined as 'something noxious or injurious to personal comfort'. A nuisance can be seen as something that is annoying, however there is a difference between something that you find annoying and what can be legally classed as a 'nuisance'.

Many nuisance complaints can be easily solved by to talking to your neighbours and try to work out a solution together. You may feel anxious approaching your neighbour but remember that they are sometimes not aware that they are disturbing you.

All nuisance complaints lodged with Council for investigation are dealt with confidentially, however if the matter is serious enough you may be required to give evidence under oath before a Court if proceedings are instigated. If the concerns involve industrial sources and premises such as sewage treatment facilities, abattoirs, animal renderers, landfills and composting facilities activity you will need to lodge a complaint with  Environmental Protection Authority. 

Green pine logs used for garden edges and park and playground equipment may have been treated with copper chrome arsenate. These logs are safe to handle but release toxic substances when burnt.

Painted wood may contain chemicals, including lead which is very harmful to human health.

 

  • Noise

    There are times when the noise you are making in your neighbourhood may be considered unreasonable to your neighbours. Talking about noise early can help make neighbours aware of the problem and be more considerate in future. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) have developed a document called annoyed by noise for tips for talking to your neighbours.

    Noise from the Prescribed Items in the noise schedule must not be heard in a habitable room of another residential premises during the prohibited times for that item. The Environmental Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2018 lists prohibitited times for residential noise, when noise from their use is unreasonable, if they can be heard in a neighbour’s home. 

    At all times a person must not emit or cause or suffer to be emitted unreasonable noise from any residential premises. This means that you should not generate noise which could be deemed to be unreasonable to your neighbour. If the noise is ongoing and unreasonable you can make a noise complaint to Council.

     

  • Odour

    Odour is any smell offensive to the human nose - the most common sources are landfill operations, food processing plants, broken sewers, abandoned garbarge and stagnant swimming pools. In most cases odour pollution does not have long term health affects but can lead to headaches, nausea and vomiting. If you notice excessive odour coming from a neighbouring property we recommend you first speak to the owner of the property and direct them to this page for information.

    Woodheaters

    Smoke from wood heaters and open fire places can occasionally cause problems for neighbours. Excessive smoke continuing for longer than 30 minutes after the fire is started indicates a problem. There may be problems with the type of material being burnt or how the wood is being stored.

    What not to burn:

    • Never burn household rubbish, driftwood, treated wood or painted wood. It is sure to pollute the air and it can produce toxic gases.
    • Green pine logs used for garden edges and park and playground equipment may have been treated with copper chrome arsenate. These logs are safe to handle but release toxic substances when burnt.
    • Painted wood may contain chemicals, including lead, which is very harmful to human health.

    Safe and efficient ways to use a wood heater

    Tips to reduce smoke from your wood heater

    Tips for selecting firewood

    Tips on efficient lighting and burning of firewood

    Tips and Safety

    ​​Council will investigate all nuisance complaints from residential properties but may view that the problem is best setttled privately and may refer you to the dispute settlement centre of Victoria.

    The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria  (DSCV) is a free dispute resolution service funded by the Victorian Government.

    DSCV can help you resolve common neighbourhood disputes involving fences, trees, animals, noise and drainage, disputes about difficult or anti-social behaviour etc. Guides to dispute resolution services in Victoria are also available in English and ten community languages from the website.

    Please note that the DSCV website is an external website link and will take you out of Moorabool Shire Council’s site.

     

  • Asbestos

    If your house was built or renovated before the mid-1980s it is likely to contain asbestos cement building materials. Asbestos fibres were used widely in building materials before the mid-1980s.

    Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring rock minerals. The fibres are strong, heat resistant and have natural insulating properties. All use, import or manufacture of asbestos was banned completely in Australia by 2003.

    The enHealth has developed a guide Asbestos: A guide for householders and the general public which provides useful information to enable householders to sensibly and safely manage the risks arising from occasional encounters with asbestos materials in and around their homes.

    The Importance of Safely Managing Asbestos in and Around the Home

    • Most people can’t tell whether building materials contain asbestos just by looking at them.
    • Unless you take the required safety precautions and follow regulations, Don’t cut it! Don’t drill it! Don’t drop it! Don’t sand it! Don’t saw it! Don’t scrape it!  Don’t scrub it! Don’t dismantle it! Don’t tip it! Don’t waterblast it! Don’t demolish it! And whatever you do… Don’t dump it!
    • If you do need to work with any material that may contain asbestos, always work so there is minimal dust or small particles released from the asbestos materials.
    • Only scientific testing of a sample of material by an accredited National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) asbestos testing laboratory can confirm the presence of asbestos. For information on testing and accredited laboratories in your area, call 1800 621 666 or refer to the NATA website. When searching for an asbestos testing facility use a capital A in Asbestos.
    • Asbestos materials that are in good condition are unlikely to release asbestos fibres if left undisturbed.
    • If asbestos materials are in good condition, paint them and leave them alone.
    • For important information about working with asbestos read Safe Work Australia’s Safe Removal of Asbestos.

    For further information refer to the below links:

    Asbestos Awareness in the Home

    List of suitable Asbestos Removalist

    Identifying and Dealing with Asbestos in Your Home - A Guide for Householders and the General Public

    Asbestos.vic.gov.au

    Better Health Channel - Asbestos

    Victorian WorkCover Authority - Asbestos
     

    Should you have any furthe questions, please contact Council's Environmental Health Unit on 5366 7100.

Last Updated:

Tuesday, 13 November, 2018 - 14:43