Public Health

Food Safety

Council has a statutory role to ensure the sale of safe food within the District. Council’s Environmental Health Officers are therefore involved in the following activities:

Receiving and processing food business notifications;

Surveillance of food businesses to ensure compliance with the relevant food safety legislation;

Follow up of consumer complaints regarding poor food handling, contamination etc;

Follow up of confirmed food poisoning;

Providing advice regarding the fit-out of new food premises or upgrades of existing businesses;

Providing general food safety advice to residents, businesses and community and charity organisations. 

South Australia’s food safety legislation has recently undergone significant change. The new legislation consists of:

Food Act 2001;

Food Regulations 2002;

Food Safety Standards: 

3.1.1 – Interpretation & Application 

3.2.2 – Food Safety Practices & General Requirements 

3.2.3 – Premises and Equipment

The new legislation applies to all food businesses. Pursuant to Section 6 of the Food Act 2001 a food business means a business, enterprise or activity (other than primary food production) that involves:

(a) the handling of food for sale; or

(b) the sale of food,

regardless of whether the business, enterprise or activity concerned is of a commercial, charitable or community nature or whether it involves the handling or sale of food on a one only occasion.

The adoption of the new food safety legislation has introduced a number of new requirements for both food businesses and food handlers. 

One of the significant changes to the food safety legislation is the requirement for food business proprietors to notify the existence of their business to Council. For more information regarding notification, or to submit notification details, use the following link to the ‘Information for Food Premises' page.

The following links provide additional information regarding legislative requirements and general food safety topics.

> Community & charity organisations

> Temporary Food Premises

> Legislation that regulates the sale of food

> Links to Related Sites

For further information please contact Council’s Environmental Health Department on telephone (08) 8391 7200.


Food Safety in the Home

Keeping your food safe in your home is important. The SA Health website contains helpful information on a range of home food handling topics. To view, click on the link below.


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Under the provisions of the Local Government Act, Council is responsible for the investigation of excessive noise caused by domestic animal keeping. Please contact Council’s Health and Public Safety Department to discuss any concerns you may have. 

Domestic nuisance noise caused by music, parties, trail bikes etc is regulated under the Environment Protection Act with SAPOL being the responsible authority. For more information please refer to the link to the EPA site below. 

Issues concerning machine or industrial noise should be referred to the Environment Protection Authority (SA). For more information please refer to link to the EPA site below.

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Rainwater Tanks

Rainwater tanks can provide a good quality water supply with proper managment of the tank as well as the catchment area. In rural areas where rainwater serves as the sole source of drinking water, the importance of proper management cannot be over emphasised.

The Department of Health has produced the following documents to provide further information:

> Use of Rainwater Tanks 

> Guidance on Use of Rainwater Tanks 

The Australian Water Quality Centre (State Water Laboratories) at Bolivar, provides advice and analysing facilities for persons with rainwater tanks. They can be contacted on 1300 65 33 66.
> The Australian Water Quality Centre website 

Please note development approval maybe required pursuant to Schedule 3 (4) (h) of the Development Regulations 1993.

The regulations state that:

a water tank (and any supporting structure) which:

is part of a roof-drainage system; and

has a total floor area not exceeding ten square metres; and

has no part higher than four metres above the natural surface of the ground

does not require Council approval, however if your water tank does not meet the above requirements, you will require Council approval. Click here to obtain a copy of Council’s Minor Domestic Structures brochure

Please contact Council’s Duty Planning Officer on (08) 8391 7200 or

Further advice on rainwater tanks can be provided by contacting Council’s Environmental Health Officers on (08) 8391 7200 or

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Bore Water

Bore-water is groundwater which accumulates in aquifers from seepage of rain and rivers through layers of soil and rock. A bore is an effective way of gaining access to these groundwater sources.

There are numerous bores located within and around the district.  Some bores are located on private property and service that property and/or neighbouring properties. 

Some bore-water contains chemical and microbiological hazards that are potentially harmful to health. These hazards may occur naturally or be due to contamination. 

Council is reminding residents that ALL bore water is not considered suitable for drinking or food preparation. 

More information can be found in the “Using Bore Water Safely” fact sheet on the Health SA website at together with related links.

Alternatively, please contact Jamie Tann, Manager Health and Public Safety, Mount Barker District Council, on telephone 8391 7200 or email

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Septic Tanks

The construction, installation or alteration of a septic tank system (Onsite Wastewater System) requires approval under the provisions of the Public and Environmental Health (Waste Control) Regulations.

No work in relation to the construction, installation or alteration of a waste control system can occur until the approval of the relevant authority has been granted. The installation or alteration of a waste control system is primarily a role of the local Council.

Mount Barker District Council provides a full approval and inspection service of all installations and alterations. This requires all plumbing contactors to advise Council of any work that they are undertaking in our area. Plumbing work can only be carried out by licensed operators and this includes owner/builders.

> Septic Tank fact sheet and helpful information 

The various types of waste control systems have specific application forms. Details required when lodging your application can be found at the top of each application form:

Onsite Wastewater System Application(398 kb)

Fees as at 2015/2016

$326.00 – Installation of a new wastewater system

$214.00 – Alteration to an existing wastewater system – Community Wastewater Management System (CWMS)

$326.00 – Alteration to an existing wastewater system – Non CWMS

For more information please contact the Health & Public Safety Department on 8391 7200.

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Swimming Pools and Spas

Public Pools

Council’s Environmental Health Officers undertake routine inspection of public swimming pools, spas and hydrotherapy pools to determine compliance with the South Australian Public Health Act, 2011  and South Australian Health Commission Standards for the Operation and Maintenance of Swimming Pools and Spa Pools.

There are currently 14 public and limited access pools that are regularly monitored in the Mount Barker District Council. For further information about public pools phone Council’s Environmental Health Officers on (08) 8391 7216.

Private Pools

Backwash water from both domestic and commercial pools must be disposed of in a sanitary manner at all times. In townships which are served by Septic Tank Effluent Disposal Schemes (STEDS), the backwash water should be connected immediately after the septic tank for disposal to the scheme disposal point. Properties that do not have effluent drainage require a sub-surface designated disposal area to be set up in accordance with Council requirements.


New Pools

Persons wishing to install a new pool or requiring information about backwash drainage should contact Council on (08) 8391 7200. 

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Syringe and Sharps Disposal

What are sharps?

Sharps are devices used to penetrate the skin. In diabetes management these include:

finger pricking device (lancet)

insulin syringes

needles used on insulin pens

Why should a sharps container be used?

An approved sharps container should be used to protect yourself, your family and others from injury or the spread of infectious diseases such as Hepatitis.

What happens if sharps are not disposed of correctly?

It is illegal to put sharps into your household rubbish because:

your family is at risk when handling the rubbish

a council worker might be injured and if so the council has the right to refuse rubbish collection

the heavy earth moving equipment used at land fill sites can rupture containers, exposing needles and sharps. Council workers and members of the public are then in danger of injury.

What is the correct way to dispose of sharps?

In an approved sharps container. These containers:

are clearly labelled sharps

display the Bio-Hazard symbol

are yellow in colour and made of an durable rigid plastic

have one entry port and cannot be removed

Where can I purchase sharps containers and dispose of full containers?

Sharps disposal containers are available for purchase from the Council. Once filled to the level indicated, the container should be sealed.

Council offers a free sharps disposal service through your Local Government Centre (6 Dutton Road, Mount Barker Homemaker Centre) during normal business hours (9.00am - 5.00pm).  Please note: This is self service and staff will direct you. Businesses that generate sharps waste or hazardous biological waste should arrange for safe storage and disposal as part of their own business practice in accordance with occupational and environmental safety standards.

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Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material, which has been mined in Australia & overseas from several types of mineral rock. Asbestos fibres are known to be hazardous to health when inhaled. Houses that were built or renovated prior to 1990 may contain asbestos building materials.

  • Asbestos fibres become a risk to health when products that contain asbestos are incorrectly handled, removed, transported or disposed of. 
  • is the primary website for South Australians which provides detailed information on how to identify, manage and safely remove asbestos in residential settings or workplaces.
  • Once asbestos waste products have been safely removed, packaged & labelled, they must be transported to an EPA licensed landfill or waste transfer station.
  • The Mount Barker waste transfer station does not accept asbestos. details the locations of waste depots that will accept asbestos

Further information

For illegal dumping on Council land contact the Environmental Health Unit on 8391 7200
For information on health risks of Asbestos contact SA Health on 8226 7100
For work place issues contact SafeWork SA Help Centre on 1300 365 255 or email

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Staying Safe Around Bats

Bats, including flying foxes, are native throughout Australia and play an important role in the ecosystem. Grey-headed Flying-Foxes and other bat species can carry a rabies-type infection called Australian Bat Lyssavirus.

People should not touch bats unless properly trained and vaccinated. Any contact with bats requires urgent medical attention.

Further information can be viewed at Public Health Fact Sheet #705 Staying safe around Bats(279 kb)

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6 Dutton Road, Mount Barker SA 5251
T 8391 7200