Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth)

The Environmental Health Standing Committee (enHealth) is a standing committee of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

Page last updated: 24 August 2020

enHealth logo

Under its Terms of Reference, enHealth is responsible for providing agreed environmental health policy advice, implementation of the National Environmental Health Strategy, consultation with key stakeholders, and the development and coordination of research, information and practical resources on environmental health matters at a national level. The development of national advice by enHealth is based on significant collaboration and consultation with Federal and state and territory agencies, departments and organisations that deal with environmental health matters.

The enHealth membership includes representatives from:

  • Commonwealth, State and Territory health departments;
  • New Zealand Ministry of Health; and
  • National Health and Medical Research Council.

enHealth achieves its objectives through regular engagement with other government departments and agencies. The committee also works with Australian local government associations, professional bodies, universities and non-government organisations.

enHealth Terms of Reference

enHealth is a standing committee under the auspices of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC). enHealth works with reference to the National Environmental Health Strategy to:

  1. Provide nationally agreed environmental health policy advice, based on the best available evidence and expertise, to the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) through the AHPPC;
  2. Coordinate implementation of nationally agreed environmental health policies and approaches;
  3. Provide environmental health expertise and support for AHPPC’s emergency management role;
  4. Keep the AHPPC and AHMAC informed of developments in environmental policy with significant health implications and provide expert, and where nationally agreed, health advice in environmental policy forums;
  5. Consult with consumers and other stakeholders as appropriate in developing environmental health policy advice and implementing environmental health policies;
  6. Contribute, through the Commonwealth, to international collaboration on environmental health issues; and
  7. Coordinate research, share information and develop practical environmental health resources, including through expert and/or nationally agreed publications as guided by the AHPPC.
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Membership

Chair / South Australia

  • Dr Chris Lease – Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Health Regulation and Protection, SA Health

Australian Capital Territory

  • Mr Jason Kneipp - Director, Environment and Radiation Safety, Health Protection Services, ACT Health

New South Wales

  • Dr Richard Broome – Director, Environmental Health, NSW Health

Northern Territory

  • Ms Tracy Ward – Acting Director, Environmental Health, Public Health Directorate, Department of Health

Queensland

  • A/Prof Sophie Dwyer – Executive Director, Health Protection, Queensland Health

Tasmania

  • Mr Paul Hunt – State Manager, Environmental Health Services, Public Health Services, Department of Health

Victoria

  • Dr Angie Bone, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Environment), Health Protection Branch, Department of Health and Human Services

Western Australia

  • Dr Michael Lindsay – Acting Executive Director, Environmental Health Directorate, Department of Health

Australian Government Department of Health

  • Ms Lara Purdy, Assistant Secretary, Environmental Health and Health Protection Policy Branch, Department of Health

New Zealand

  • Ms Sally Gilbert, Manager, Environmental and Border Health, Public Health, Population Health and Prevention, Ministry of Health

National Health and Medical Research Council

  • Ms Jennifer Savenake, Director, Public Health, National Health and Medical Research Council

Expert Reference Panel on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Health (ERPATSIEH)

ERPATSIEH works under the guidance of enHealth and with reference to this strategic plan and the ERPATSIEH Action Plan 2019-2023 acts to fulfil its terms of reference of:

  1. Advising enHealth on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health issues.
  2. Supporting the review and development of national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health policy.
  3. Acting as a focal expert group for enHealth in promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health with relevant stakeholders.
  4. Providing input and direction into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental health conference/workshops and other mainstream conferences relating to environmental health.

Expert Reference Panel on Environmental Health (ERPEH, formerly Technical Working Group on Environmental Health)

ERPEH acts to provide technical guidance, which is evidence-based, effective and nationally consistent and that supports the protection of public health, in particular for the assessment, management and communication of risk. It works under the direction of enHealth and the ERPEH Work Plan 2020-23 to fulfil its objectives, including:

    1. Providing technical guidance to enHealth and AHPPC on issues that concern the health effects of environmental issues.
    2. Conducting and overseeing projects on environmental health issues with human health impacts.
    3. Liaising with relevant agencies and organisations to provide technical advice on a range of environmental health issues.
    4. Coordinating responses to enquiries about environmental health issues on behalf of enHealth and AHPPC.

Radiation Health Expert Reference Panel (RHERP)

RHERP works under the guidance of enHealth and with reference to the RHERP Work Plan and this strategic plan acts to fulfil its terms of reference of:

  1. Providing expert advice on radiation protection and nuclear safety issues as directed by enHealth.
  2. Developing a national strategy for uniformity of radiation protection and nuclear safety regulation in Australia.

The RHERP is a network of experts. Membership comprises nominated jurisdictional representatives from the relevant regulators, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), and external experts as appropriate.

Water Quality Expert Reference Panel (WQERP)

WQERP, under the guidance of enHealth and with reference to the WQERP Work Plan 2019-2021, this strategy and the AHPPC strategic plan, provides a forum for representatives from Australian, state and territory health agencies to manage drinking water, recycled water, wastewater and recreational water to:

  1. Advise enHealth of emerging regulatory and health issues.
  2. Foster a consistent approach to management of new and emerging water-related public health risks across all Australian jurisdictions.
  3. Develop a shared strategic perspective on health risks from hazards in water.
  4. Support nationally consistent frameworks for regulation of water quality.
  5. Share key outputs from local water research and outcomes from health incident investigations.
  6. Identify research gaps that could feed into new projects of interest to other jurisdictions, via partnerships with research organisations.
  7. Form inter-jurisdictional working groups to develop strategies, policy and/or guidance documents intended to help address the issues identified.
  8. Raise or respond to issues of national significance with the AHPPC, where appropriate.
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