Local laws

The Bundaberg Local Law No 43 may also be involved in the effort to resolve this particular problem. This is because the presence of the stagnating water in the area may make the land area what is considered as a “drainage problem area” as stipulated in the local law (Bundaberg Local Law No. 43, pp1-2). The person or entity who owns the property will be required to consult to the council regarding the next course of action to be taken to resolve the issue of drainage problem in the location (Bundaberg Local Law No. 43, pp1-2).

The person or entity, responsible for the unlawful environmental activities and risks present and found in the dumping activity in the place of concern, will also be answerable and subject to the full extent of the penalty/ies provided by the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008. In Chapter 5 Part 1 of the said regulation, “regulated waste” was discussed.

It was followed by contaminated land in part 2 and noise in part 3, while parts 4 and 5 are focused on water contamination and air contamination (EPR 2008, pp. 56-57, 61).

According to EPR 2008 (Chapter 7, Part 1, Division 1), certain areas like environmental nuisances, noise and water contamination has aspects which are devolved to the local government (EPR 2008, p. 76); while other aspects that are not devolved local government are discussed in Division 2, including items from 103 to 108. This statutes, laws, regulations and policies will provide the authorities with basis on how they will approach the situation, assess the degree and extent of offense (if any) of the person(s) or entity/entities involved in this operation and lay out the penalties which will be set by the proper local government or state agency.

Some of these laws, regulations, policies and statutes are found in any of the environment-protection related legislation and local government and national government actions, like the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008, The Local Government Act 1993, The Environmental Protection Act of 1994, the National Environment Protection Regulation 2008, the Public Health Act of 2005 and several different local laws of Bundaberg and Burnett Shire Council.

All of these are expected to provide a framework on how to effectively handle the case and assess the impact of the problem and penalize the offending party. All of these lawful options should be pursued by the local government, and if necessary, the national government, in order to resolve this problem so long as during the course of the investigation or during the conclusion of the investigation, all of the abovementioned sources of lawful options provide suitable basis for which to assess this situation.

Since this problem involves many different aspects of environmental health, as well as public health and safety, it is not surprising that there are many aspects of the law that will be involved. Everything will provide important and integral contribution to the effort of resolving this case if every lawful option is sufficiently explored and effectively handled.

As an environmental health officer, the local and national government has endowed the position with certain powers which it can use and should use to the hilt in the pursuit of the best possible action plan and best possible way to resolve this particular environmental health problem. Following the due process of investigation and exercising the powers in accordance to the law and with respect for proper protocol, the EHO has several different obligations that should be undertaken during the course of conducting investigations and during instances wherein it is necessary that the EHO’s lawful power should be exercised.

Some of the obligations include (1) the use and observance of the range and limits of the power as mandated by the local or national government with regards to the position and the use of power and privileges during the course of the investigation; (2) the use of diligent as well as unbiased attitude towards accomplishing the tasks involved in the investigation of the case; (3) the responsibility of communicating with individuals, agencies and groups which maybe involved in this case or those which are potential material assets towards the effective resolution of the case; (4) the effective recording of data and; (5) the awareness of the laws, regulations, policies and other legal and lawful parameters that can guide the investigation as it moves along due process.