ENVH12002 - Environmental Health Law

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the interpretation and application of statutes, legislative frameworks and principles that form the foundation for environmental health practice. In particular, this unit will detail various legislative tools for the management of public health issues in different settings. The prosecution process and gathering of evidence will be discussed, along with a detailed discussion on the role of the environmental health practitioner in relation to public health, environmental and planning legislation. Major topics covered include: an introduction to law and government, public health law, planning and environmental law, local laws, investigation processes and procedures.

Details

Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2022

Term 1 - 2023 Profile
Online

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 15%
2. Online Quiz(zes) 40%
3. Written Assessment 45%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 50.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 36.36% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Personal reflection
Feedback
Unit content
Recommendation
Update the unit content to reflect contemporary policies and practices relating to environmental health regulatory work in Australia.
Action Taken
The unit contents have been updated to reflect the most current information relating to environmental health practice in Australia.
Source: Student feedback evaluation
Feedback
The final investigation report was a great exercise, however students were not provided adequate details in terms of expected legal referencing, or a report template. The relationship between the topic and local government laws were not adequately explained as this real world investigation would not immediately warrant use of the Public Health Act 2005 for enforcement. Local Government Councils would first and foremost utilise local laws for compliance/enforcement action due to the nature of the offence. Discussions amongst students involved many students not realising Local Laws were a realistic and most likely used tool in the remediation of such breaches of this type.
Recommendation
The number of live birds in the case studies will need to be increased to over 1000 so students can use both local government laws or the Public Health Act 2005 to determine their course of actions when responding to the described offence.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Personal reflection
Feedback
There were no weekly tutorial and therefore students might have felt less interaction with the teaching unit through weekly tutorial. The structure of the unit involved students completing weekly activities and learning materials, with only one-on-one support provided at the request of the student.
Recommendation
Given the low attendance of tutorials in this unit from past experiences, it is recommended that instead of running a weekly tutorial, the teaching staff should assign a weekly one hour drop in session to allow students to seek help without having to contact the teaching staff to arrange for a meeting.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Face-to-face discussion with a student
Feedback
The nature of offence provided in the assessment case study (investigation) is for less than 1000 live birds. Under certain local government laws, facilities with less than 1000 live birds are not legally required to report breaches although reporting is warranted under the Public Health Act 2005. Students were confused about whether to use local government laws or the Public Health Act 2005 to guide their actions. This issue was raised by a student in a face-to-face discussion. The student was advised to use Public Health Act 2005 to determine a course of action because it is the overriding legislative instrument in Queensland.
Recommendation
The number of live birds in the case studies will need to be increased to over 1000 so students can use both local government laws or the Public Health Act 2005 to determine their course of actions when responding to the described offence.
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Interpret and apply the provisions of key public health legislation related to environmental health practice
  2. Interpret and apply the provisions of key environmental and planning legislation related to environmental health practice
  3. Identify and manage public health issues using legal frameworks within relevant environmental and public health legislation
  4. Apply legal procedures relevant to the administration of environmental and public health legislation

This unit meets the following criteria for accreditation by Environmental Health Australia:

L1 Introduction to legislative frameworks for environmental health.

L2 Introduction to the law making process and factors that influence policy and legislation.

L3 Knowledge of how to interpret legislation.

L4 Knowledge of public and environmental health legislation.

L5 Introduction to development assessment processes.

L7 Introduction to grounds for internal and external reviews, appeals, etc.

L9 Knowledge of legal authority and requirements to act in accordance with the purpose of legislation and ethical standards for authorised persons/officers (e.g. duty of care, confidentiality, powers of entry).

L10 Knowledge of compliance options (legislative and non-legislative) including their strengths, limitations and legislative requirements.

L11 Introduction to interviewing, investigation and risk-based inspection techniques, prosecution processes, court procedures, etc.

L12 Introduction to enforcement guidelines/policies/protocols.

L13 Introduction to governance principles and strategies, ethics and decision making.

L14 Overview of the jurisdiction and role of agencies relevant to environmental health in all tiers of government.

L15 Introduction to key government strategies and intergovernmental agreements in the context of environmental health.

L17 Knowledge of criteria and general procedures for assessing, approving, determining conditions and licences, notices, orders and fines.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Online Quiz(zes)
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
3 - Written Assessment
2 - Online Quiz(zes)
1 - Online Quiz(zes)