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Public health nuisance

Council's Community Health Services may be able to assist residents with problems that are deemed to be public health nuisance.

What is a nuisance?

When something is annoying, it is easy to think of it as a nuisance. However, there is a difference between something that you find annoying and what can be legally classed as a 'nuisance'.

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, a nuisance applies to something that is, or is liable to be, dangerous to health.

Many nuisance complaints can be easily solved by approaching the owner/occupier in a neighbourly manner and discussing your concerns with them. It is important to consider that your neighbour may not even realise that the activity is causing a nuisance to you or other people.

In most cases a solution can be found between neighbours and should be sought prior to lodging a complaint with Maroondah City Council. This is usually the most effective way to resolve the situation. The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has some good advice on how to approach your neighbour.

Contact us to report a public health nuisance.

NOTE: 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.

A bad smell can be due to a public health risk, such as:

  • a broken sewer
  • abandoned garbage
  • stagnant swimming pool
  • lack of cleanliness with animal keeping. 

On your neighbour's land

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.

If the property owner doesn't take any measures to reduce the problem, you can contact Council's Community Health Services on 1300 88 22 33. In order for an investigation to occur, you will be asked to provide two weeks’ worth of odour logs.  An Environmental Health Officer will assess your logs to determine if a nuisance exists and the best course of action to remedy it.

Odour log  (docx, 840KB)

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

On your neighbour's land

 If you notice excessive heavy wood smoke coming from a neighbouring property, and it continues for more than 30 minutes, we recommend you first speak to the owner of the property and direct them to this page for information.

If the property owner doesn't take any measures to reduce the problem, you can contact Council's Community Health Services on 1300 88 22 33. In order for an investigation to occur, you will be asked to provide two weeks’ worth of odour logs.  An Environmental Health Officer will assess your logs to determine if a nuisance exists and the best course of action to remedy it. 

Odour log  (docx, 840KB)

Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals found in rock formations.  They are made up of fine, durable fibres that are strong and heat resistant.

Asbestos is often identified when older buildings (generally before mid 80’s) are demolished and must be handled correctly to avoid exposure.

Further information on where asbestos can be found in your home, asbestos related diseases and the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ on handling  asbestos material can be found on: ASBESTOS; A guide for householders and the general public.

Further information and advice on asbestos

On your neighbour's land

 If you are concerned about asbestos removal on a neighbouring property, we recommend (where possible) you first speak to the owner of the property and direct them to this page for information.

If the property owner doesn't take any measures to address the problem, you can contact Council's Community Health Services on 1300 88 22 33 for further advice.

22/06/2017
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