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EHA : Yearkbook 2009
EHA YEARBOOK 2009 Branch Reports In the last twelve months environmental health in Victoria has been dominated firstly by the acute response to the fires in February and then the community support effort required for the recovery stage which is still continuing. On top of this disaster the Government announced the new Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2009 which replaces the current Health Act 1958 , and also there will be extensive amendments to the Food Act 198 4 following a review of food safety administration in Victoria. The new legislation introduces a range of new mechanisms that need to be used by EHOs in the administration of the legislative provisions. The fires and substantial legislative changes have had an inevitable effect on the operations of the Branch however we still managed to participate in the Herald Sun career expos, conduct a special members day forum and planning day for the Special Interest Groups, participate in meetings with the Department of Human Services around the new legislation including the establishment of two working parties to concentrate on specific accommodation issues and their legislation. Planning for the emergency management course for next year, in high demand as would be expected, is well advanced and 30 participants will attend the program which is similar to this year’s numbers. Despite the substantial impact of fire and legislation the Branch will deliver on its budget and, importantly, our membership continues to grow reflecting our relevance to practitioners. This is the result of the active Branch Council, Special Interest Groups and Regional Groups and the dedication of all involved with them. The Annual Conference held in Nillumbik in November 2008 was extremely successful and the proposed Professional Development Symposium (replacing the Branch Annual Conference) 2009 will be held in Bendigo at Latrobe University and also promises to be a most successful event. The year coming will be extremely busy because of the legislative changes coming into effect in 2 010 , fortunately most of the existing branch councillors will continue on and provide a solid core of leadership to steer the EHA Victoria ship through the changes and ensure that practitioners’ voices and concerns are accounted for in the implementation process. In October at our Symposium I step down from the Branch Presidency and I take this opportunity to thank my branch councillors for their support, loyalty and hard work in difficult circumstances, and on behalf of the Branch Council I thank my colleagues leading the SIGs and Regional Groups, and our Executive Officer Bernadet Ferraro for all your work and effort. I would like to acknowledge and thank my colleague Fleur Cousins for once again volunteering her services. Dr Jim Smith LFEHA Victorian Branch President Special Interest Group Reports Food Safety Special Interest Group Over the past 12 months, the Food SIG has welcomed new members and now represents a good cross section of key stakeholders within the food regulating system including Local Government, Department of Health, Dairy Food Safe Victoria, legal practitioners, the training sector, analysts and private industry. As part of the action plan, adopted by Branch Council, the SIG has continued to review and develop the Food Safety Management Guidelines, by drafting an enforcement protocol that has been presented to Branch Council for comment. To assist practitioners, the SIG is currently developing a Powerpoint training tool to educate people on the principles of food safety when operating at events. The SIG has continued to provide input to and representation on a range of state committees and working groups including: n Representation on the Food Safety Council n Representation on the DHS/MAV Food Safety Project n Participation in a project reference group to review DHS’ resources With a strong relationship with the Department of Health (DHS) Food Safety and Regulatory Unit the SIG has been able to represent EHA on a variety of working groups associated with the amendments to the Food Act including: n Online training program, a web based program for food handlers n Food Sampling Database, a state based program that will develop a new food sampling framework that improves risk management and coordination of state-wide sampling n FSP template review, accommodating all the Food Act changes including the classification system. The SIG has also been able to provide guidance on behalf of EHA to N ATA who is currently developing the one day course ‘Effective sampling techniques for EHPs’ that focuses on food and water sampling techniques. Together with responding to both member’s and EHA requests, the SIG has experienced an extremely busy year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all SIG members and EHA members who have contributed to the various activities conducted over the last 12 months as we now prepare ourselves for another exciting year of food safety. Leanne Johnson MEHA Food Special Interest Group Co-Convenor Victorian Branch
Annual Review and Yearbook 2008
EHA Yearbook 2010