Investigation Process

The primary goal of Council’s Environmental Health and Regulatory Services Team is the protection of the health, safety and wellbeing of the community and the local environment. Our dedicated team of professionals provide a range of services direct to the community through the programs we deliver. These include animal management, food safety, mosquito control, personal appearances such as tattooing and body piercing, protection of the local environment, property and development compliance and regulated parking.

Your request is very important to us. We are committed to investigating your enquiry and resolving it as quickly and efficiently as possible. To ensure that we deal with situations which pose a risk to the health and safety of the community or those that have legal timeframes as quickly and efficiently as possible, your enquiry has been given a priority rating.

What Happens Next

The relevant officer will contact you to discuss your enquiry with you to ensure that we have all of the facts.

The officer will usually undertake an investigation, which may involve gathering evidence from witnesses and from other sources. When this is complete the Officer will take the appropriate action. This could involve providing advice, providing a warning, issuing a legal notice, issuing a fine or taking court action. This investigation process can take some time (weeks or even months depending on the complexity) as we are obliged to follow the principles of natural justice and legal processes.

We may contact you at relevant times throughout the investigation but we will not usually provide regular progress reports while we are working on resolving your request. We will inform you when we have finalised your enquiry to inform you of the outcome.

Priorities Explained

Every request for service received by Council is assessed and given a priority. This is not a reflection of how important we consider your request to be. It is a way of prioritising our resources to the issues posing the highest risk to the health, safety and welfare of the community and our local environment. For example, barking dogs or illegal dumping are important matters that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. However, we will respond to reports of aggressive dogs roaming the street or reports of contaminated food being sold first. This is because these issues put our community or environment at immediate and significant risk.

Priority 1 Situations that pose an imminent or immediate risk of personal injury or will impact on the health and safety of individuals, the community, or the environment. Typically these issues represent breaches of the law which must be addressed quickly.
Priority 2 Situations that represent a risk to the health and safety of individuals, the community, or the environment but are not considered to pose an imminent or immediate threat. Often these situations will require investigations that lead to compliance action being taken.
Priority 3 Situations which may impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals, the community, or the environment if left unresolved. These issues are generally dealt with through negotiation, the issuing of fines or legal notices.

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Priority Listing

Abandoned vehicles Abandoned vehicles 3
Asbestos Asbestos from domestic premises 1
Backyard fire hazards Fire hazards from backyard burning 2
Bins odour and placement Odour and placement nuisance 2
Black and grey water pumping Domestic waste water discharge 2
Body piercing and tattoo Licencing and hygiene 1
Birds Enclosure, excess numbers, noise, odour 3
Building compliance Dangerous and dilapidated buildings, and fire damaged buildings 1
Building compliance Unauthorised or non-compliant building works or structures 3
Cyclone hazard Accumulated material and untidy properties 1
Cats Attack on a person/pet 1
Cats Noise, odour, enclosure and excess cats kept on the property 3
Cats Impound of stray cats 2
Cats Unregistered cat 3
Dogs Attack on a person/pet 1
Dogs Aggressive dogs 1
Dogs Excess dogs kept on property 2
Dogs Escaping enclosure 2
Dogs Barking 2
Dogs Impound of stray dogs  1
Dogs Unregistered dog 3
Dogs Wandering and straying dogs 1
Dumping – over 200lt Illegal dumping 2
Dust and smoke Dust and smoke nuisance 2
Environmental pollution Environmental pollution from a commercial business 2
Food poisoning Suspected poisoning 1
Food premises, vehicles, stalls Hygiene-related issues  3
Footpath and road reserve Footpath obstruction 2
Hairdressing and beauty Hygiene-related issues  2
Illegal camping Illegal camping 3
Light nuisance Light nuisance 3
Litter – under 200lt Litter – under 200lt 3
Livestock Straying on public land 1
Livestock Escaping enclosure 2
Livestock Odour, Excess and Nuisance 3
Mosquito Mosquitos – disease and nuisance 1
Noise nuisance Commercial/residential noise nuisance 2
Odour nuisance Commercial/residential odour nuisance 2
Overgrown and unsightly properties Overgrown and unsightly properties 3
Planning compliance Unauthorised use and home based businesses 3
Public health Public health risks 2
Sandfly or midge Sandfly and midge nuisance (breeding – private land) 1
Signage Position of advertising signage/structures on the footpath 3
Unauthorised roadside trading Unauthorised roadside trading 2
Unregistered animals Unregistered dog or cat 3
Vermin (rats and mice) Vermin (rats and mice) in a food business 1
Water pollution Pollution of stormwater and/or water courses 1
Water runoff Water run off from a property (commercial/residential) 1