Environmental health - Public Health

Introduction

Environmental Health is committed to reducing the amount of disease in Northern Territory communities caused by physical, chemical, biological and radiological factors in the environment.

Environmental Health sits within the broader area of public health. The Public Health Unit is involved in the assessment, correction, control, and prevention of environmental factors adversely affecting human health.

Environmental Health comprises a number of discrete services including:

Contact

The Environmental Health can be contacted at envirohealth@nt.gov.au or on the details below.

LocationAddressMailPhoneFax
Darwin2nd Floor, Casuarina Plaza
258 Trower Road
Casuarina NT 0810

PO Box 40596
Casuarina NT 0811

(08) 8922 7377(08) 8922 7036 
Katherine

Ground Floor, O'Keefe House
Katherine Hospital
Katherine NT 0850

PMB 73
Katherine NT 0852
(08) 8973 9061 or (08) 8973 9062(08) 8973 9063 
BarklyLevel 1, Matt Glynn Building
172 Paterson Street
Tennant Creek NT 0860
PO Box 346
Tennant Creek NT 0861
(08) 8962 4302(08) 8962 4420
Central AustraliaPeter Sitzler Building
67 Stuart Highway
Alice Springs NT 0870
PO Box 721
Alice Springs NT 0871
(08) 8955 6122(08) 8952 5927

Radiation protection

The Radiation Protection work unit sits within the Public Health Directorate and aims to protect the health and safety of people in the Northern Territory and their environment from the harmful effects of radiation.

This protection is achieved through legislation that authorises the sale, acquisition, possession, use, storage, transport and disposal of radioactive materials and radiation apparatus.

Read about these authorities in the Radiation Protection Act and Regulations:

Radiation licence forms

Go to Radiation licence forms on the NT Government site for a list of all radiation forms. For more detailed information, read the below sections.

Licences

Licences are issued for the use of medical and industrial ionising radiation sources. In general, these sources and the place of use must be registered with the Radiation Protection work unit.

Non-ionising radiation sources can be registered only in specific areas listed in Schedule 2 of the National Directory for Radiation Protection on the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency website. Currently the only non-ionising radiation source in Schedule 2 is a tanning unit used for cosmetic purposes within a solarium. You can no longer register a tanning bed for commercial use, possession or sale in the NT.

Go to Radiation licences for health professionals on the NT Government website for information about:

  • chiropractors
  • dental practitioners
  • diagnostic radiographers
  • nuclear medicine technologists
  • radiation therapists
  • registered nurses
  • general practitioners
  • radiation safety training.

Accreditation and compliance

A certificate of accreditation authorises the installation, testing, repair, servicing and decommissioning of a radiation source. A radiation protection adviser is expected to apply for a certificate of accreditation to test a radiation source.

Go to Radiation compliance certificates and registrations on the NT Government website for information about:

  • accredited NT radiation companies
  • apply to be an accredited radiation company or individual
  • certificate of compliance
  • codes of practice
  • licence to possess a radiation source
  • radiation place
  • radiation source or apparatus.

Training for remote practitioners

The Royal Darwin Hospital runs a course training health workers at remote clinics to take X-ray images.

For more information or to express your interest in the course call the X-ray Department at Royal Darwin Hospital on (08) 8922 8512.

Contact

Radiation Protection
2nd Floor Casuarina Plaza
258 Trower Road
Casuarina NT 0810

Phone:  (08) 8922 7152
radiationprotection@nt.gov.au

Mail

PO Box 40596
Casuarina NT 0811


Aboriginal environmental health

The Northern Territory has the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.

There are health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Territorians, especially in relation to infectious and chronic diseases, child health and life expectancy.

Poor environmental health conditions are a major contributing factor to the high rates of infectious disease, especially among young children.

Repeated infections during infancy and early childhood have been found to impact not only on children’s health in the short term but also contribute to chronic disease in adulthood.

Role

The Public Health Units works with Aboriginal communities to ensure compliance with food and public and environmental health regulations.

The program follows principles of community development and health promotion to enable Aboriginal Territorians to improve their own health.

Read the Environmental Health Standards for Remote Communities in the Northern Territory and Addendum No. 1 (June 2002).

Environmental health grants

The Indigenous environmental health grants program assists regional councils and not-for-profit organisations to improve environmental health conditions for Aboriginal communities.

Contact the Public Health Directorate about grant programs and applications.


Applied environmental health

The Public Health Units - Environmental Health has officers working in Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine, Nhulunbuy and Tennant Creek, as well as remote communities.

The branch includes a small program and policy development team.

Officers administer the Public and Environmental Health Act and the Food Act to ensure that businesses comply with the following legislation:

Role

The work of the Public Health Units includes:

  • registration of food premises, body art, beauty therapy and commercial visitor accommodation
  • helping Aboriginal communities to develop and maintain environmental health projects that improve living conditions
  • working with other programs in the department and with other agencies, communities and key stakeholders to improve environmental health outcomes and support vulnerable populations
  • investigating and resolving complaints
  • conducting environmental health surveys, research and development.