Health & Environment
Council's Environmental Health Officers are responsible for many aspects of community health including monitoring of food establishments, personal appearance services (hairdressers, beauty therapy, body piercing, tattooists), environmentally relevant activities, caravan parks and camping grounds, shared facility accommodation; environmental nuisances; litter control; and control of public health risks such as mosquitoes and vermin.
Phone Council on (07) 49929500 or visit Local Govt Toolbox for more information about Environmental Health Officers.
Environmental Nuisance or Pollution
Council is committed to maintaining the health of our environment and our quality of life. Environmental protection legislation aims to reduce interference with our normal daily activities or harm to the environment and enables Council Officers to address various nuisances, once a complaint has been made.
Nuisances may include:
- Air Pollution (such as odour, smoke, and dust)
- Noise Pollution (from air-conditioners, building work, power tools, mowers, etc)
- Waste Management (illegal dumping, littering)
- Water Pollution (polluting substances discharged to stormwater or water)
On receipt of a bona fide complaint, Council will investigate the matter. For further information about how to make a complaint, refer to "Making a Complaint" below.
What Noise Limits Apply?
Section 440 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 prohibits noise to be made outside the following hours:
- Building Work: 6:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Saturday, excluding public holidays.
- Regulated Devices: 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday; 8am to 7pm Sundays and public holidays.
- Amplifier Devices: 7am to 10pm Business days; 8am to 6pm other days.
- Operating power boat engine: 7am to 7pm Business days; 8am to 6:30pm other days
- Pool and spa pumps, Air conditioners, Indoor open air events, Refrigeration: The Act provides for decibel noise limits from this equipment or events, which vary depending on the time of day and type of equipment.
For further information on any of these nuisances contact Council's Environmental Services Section on (07) 4992 9500.
Flying fox roost management can be a difficult and contentious issue which involves close collaboration and communication with the Department of Environment and Science (DES).
If a flying fox colony is causing concern, Council's ability to assist can be limited by many factors including location, species, colony numbers and breeding cycles.
Council has endorsed a Statement of Management Intent for Flying Foxes which articulates the approach that Banana Shire Council will take to the management of flying-fox roosts in Banana Shire. Council has also adopted a Flying Fox Management Plan.
Some important points to consider if you are affected by flying foxes are:
- Do not attempt to handle a flying fox as they can carry serious diseases. If a sick or injured animal is found, call 1300 ANIMAL. If a dead animal is found, use a shovel to scoop the animal into a bag and place carefully in your bin.
- Warn children to never touch flying foxes and report any scratches.
- If you believe you have been scratched or bitten, seek immediate medical assistance.
- Avoid disturbing a colony as this can exacerbate issues of noise, smell and mess, can increase health risks and may only result in the problem moving to an even more unsuitable location.
- Heavy penalties may be imposed for interference, harrassment of dispersal without a permit.
Watch these videos to gain valuable insight on how critical flying foxes are to the health of the Australian bushland that supports our native animals including the koala and kangaroo.
More information on flying foxes, including health concerns, is provided on the following websites:
Overgrown Land or Accumulated Materials
Landowners need to maintain their properties to prevent reptile harbourage and protect visual amenity.
If you believe that a yard is overgrown or contains objects or materials that may harbour reptiles or cause a visual nuisance, you may report this to Council.
Where land is found to be overgrown, a letter is sent to the owner requesting the problem be rectified within 21days. Where no action is taken, a second notice requiring the problem to be rectified in 21 days is sent. Failure to comply with the second notice will result in Council issuing an enter & clear notice, giving 14 days. At the end of this timeframe, if the work has still not been completed, Council will enter and carry out the required work.
Where the land is owned by the State, Council does not have the power to enter but will still ask for the cooperation of the relevant Government Department.
Although footpaths are Council property, it is expected that the adjoining property owner mow grass on the footpath as it would be impractical for Council to maintain all the Shire's footpaths.
If a vehicle has been abandoned on a roadway, Council can remove and impound the vehicle or require the owner to remove the vehicle.
To report an abandoned vehicle, contact Council on (07) 4992 9500.
Public Health Risks
Council's Environmental Health Officers can address certain Public Health Risks, including —
- Rats and Mice
- Stagnant or ponding waste water
- Pesticide, herbicide or chemical release from non-workplaces
- Asbestos located at non-workplaces
as well as other matters relating to public health and safety, including:
Sharps Disposal Containers
Free containers available
Shire residents who are required to use needles for medical reasons can obtain sharps disposal containers from Council free of charge.
This service can be accessed at the following locations:
- Banana Shire Council Chambers, Valentine Plains Road, Biloela
- Banana Shire Council Office, Gillespie Street, Moura
- Banana Shire Council Office, Yaldwyn Street, Taroom
- Wowan Dululu Multi-purpose Centre, Wowan
- Baralaba Medical Clinic, Stopford Street, Baralaba
- Theodore Medical Centre, Hamilton Street, Theodore
Disposal containers in public toilets
Sharps disposal containers are also provided in various public toilets throughout the Shire.
Disposal options - residents
Filled sharps containers from domestic premises can be disposed of in sharps disposal bins located at most Shire hospitals as part of the Queensland Needle and Syringe Program.
Whilst Council encourages the use of sharps disposal bins, if you are unable to access these facilities, filled sharps containers can be disposed of in your wheelie bin or waste transfer station bulk bins.
For either disposal option, please ensure that an appropriate disposal container is used and that the container lid has been completely sealed.
Disposal options - commercial
Sharps from commercial premises are considered clinical waste and cannot be disposed of to landfill. Therefore these sharps cannot be disposed of in general waste disposal bins or at waste transfer stations, and must be disposed of using an appropriate clinical waste collection service.
Exceptions to this include –
- Emergency first aid
- Sharps from first aid rooms at schools or workplaces; and
- Sharps collected in public areas such as shopping centre toilets
Further information about clinical waste exemptions and disposal requirements is available on the following link.
Small quantities of commercial sharps containers may be accepted at Council’s Biloela Office on payment of a disposal fee.
Sharps found in public places
If you find a sharp in a public place, please notify Council immediately and our staff will ensure that the item is safely removed and disposed of.
Making a Complaint
Have you advised your Neighbour?
Making a minor complaint about a neighbour to a State or Local Government Agency can often do more harm than good. A little tolerance goes a long way so if possible, please discuss your concerns with your neighbour first. On most occasions your neighbour will not realise that they are causing a nuisance and will be happy to address the issue.
The Queensland Government Ways to approach your neighbour website offers helpful advice on how to discuss your concerns with your neighbour and what steps may be taken if an agreement is unable to be reached.
Registering a Complaint with Council
With all the goodwill in the world, it is acknowledged that there are times when assistance from a third party is necessary.
- In person at a Council office
- by telephone
- by email or
- by facsimile
QCAT is a Government provided free mediation and facilitation service, which deals with workplace, family, neighbourhood, commercial, organisational, environmental and multi-party disputes.
Council monitors and controls mosquitoes, which not only cause a nuisance but can also spread diseases such as Ross River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus, Dengue Fever and dog heartworm.
Controlling Mosquitoes Around the Home
Please assist in the control of mosquitoes by taking these steps at home:
- Inspect your house and yard and remove any accumulations of water;
- Empty pot plant bases weekly or fills the base with sand to absorb water;
- Bromeliads and other water-holding plants should be washed out weekly;
- Clean roof gutters out regularly and trims back trees that can block gutters;
- Ensure rainwater tanks are screened;
- Keep swimming pools maintained;
- Birdbaths, fishponds and ornamental pools should be washed out weekly and where possible stock with suitable native fish;
- Stock dams with native fish and keep the edges clear of vegetation.
Remember—no water no mosquitoes: A single female can lay up to 200 eggs at a time. Between 10% to 90% of these eggs develop into mature mosquitoes. A flower pot base can support 150 larva or wrigglers!!
We cannot eradicate mosquitoes completely, but we can take precautions to protect ourselves from being bitten.
- Screen all windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes coming inside;
- Mosquitoes are most active at dawn, around late afternoon and just after dusk. If you are outside at these times wear protective clothing, such as a pair of loose-fitting pants and a loose-fitting shirt, and use insect repellent;
- If you live in an unscreened house or are camping, sleep under a mosquito net;
- When mosquitoes are present, spray the rooms, particularly behind furniture and other dark places. After securing screens and closing doors, leave the room closed for half an hour before ventilating;
- Air conditioning, fans and mosquito coils are also effective in protecting you from mosquitoes.
What Council is Doing
Council has adopted a Mosquito and Black Fly Management Plan to assist in the effective management of mosquitoes within the Shire.
Part of Council's management program to control mosquitoes is the use of larvicide in ponded water. Larvicide is an insect growth regulator specifically targeting mosquito larvae, and is not harmful to people or wildlife.
Fogging or misting of adults is only considered by Council for mosquito treatment when there is a significant public health risk evident. Fogging or misting uses a synthetic pyrethroid specifically registered for the control of mosquitoes in the community. Misting equipment is used early morning or late afternoon, is noisy and may produce a visible mist. The product used is not harmful to people but is toxic to bees and other invertebrates including butterflies. It is also dangerous to fish and aquatic vertebrates. Fogging or misting will only eradicate adult mosquitos in the vicinity of the chemical at the time of application.
Residents have a responsibility to prevent mosquito breeding around their home, and Council will investigate complaints received in relation to concerns over mosquito breeding.