Built environment

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The City receives frequent enquiries of concern relating to the removal of asbestos from neighbouring properties. Asbestos is commonly found in material such as roofing, roof shingles, fencing, cladding, material on floor tiles and vinyl flooring, textured paints and pipes. In 1987, the manufacturing and use of asbestos ceased. 

Asbestos fibre release occurs from natural sources, as well as occurring from extensive industrial and commercial use in the past. Inhalation of asbestos fibres in sufficient quantities may cause a number of diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer or pleural plaque. It is important to note that materials containing asbestos are relatively harmless when left undisturbed as it is bound in a solid cement matrix. It is only when the material is damaged that it may release fibres into the air.

People removing asbestos must comply with the Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992 and follow the following key points:

  •     use adequate personal protective equipment
  •     wet the area thoroughly
  •     do not use power tools
  •     dispose of asbestos correctly in approved landfill sites by wrapping it in plastic sheeting and labelling it 'CAUTION ASBESTOS' in letters at least 30cm high.

If you are planning on removing over 10 square metres of bonded (non-friable) asbestos it is required that you contact an unrestricted asbestos licence holders or an restricted licensed contractor approved by the WorkSafe.

For issues with asbestos in the work place, contact WorkSafe WA on 1300 30 78 77 or email safety@commerce.wa.gov.au.

To make a complaint about asbestos removal from a neighbouring property, contact our compliance services team here.

For more information on asbestos in the home you can access free online training at the cancer councils Know asbestos in your home online course, otherwise visit the Department of Health website. For concerns about asbestos in the workplace, visit the Department of Commerce website.

Caravan park and camping ground

A caravan park is an area of land on which caravans or camper vans are situation for habitation. Caravan park and camping ground's are inspected by the City's environmental health officer's on an annual basis to ensure they are compliant with the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995 and Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Regulations 1997.

If you are considering constructing a patio, annexe, carport or any other structure within a caravan park you are required to apply for planning and building approval from the City. However, prior to seeking the appropriate approval from the City, please discuss your proposal with the caravan park manager.

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Contaminated sites

The Department of Environment Regulation (DER) administers and enforces the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 and Contaminated Sites Regulations 2006.

In relation to land, water or a site, the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 defines 'contaminated' as:

"having a substance present in or on that land, water or site at above background concentrations that presents, or has the potential to present, a risk of harm to human health, the environment or any environmental value."

To access information about contaminated sites visit the department's contaminated sites database.

The contaminated sites database holds information on sites classified as:

  • contaminated - remediation required 
  • contaminated - restricted use or remediation for restricted use 

The database allows searches for confirmed contaminated sites using search fields such as street name, suburb/town, local government authority (e.g. council), land title or crown land reserve number.

Lodging houses

A lodging house is any building which makes provision for the lodging of more than 6 persons (exclusive of the family of the owner (keeper) or manager), for hire or reward. A lodging house includes serviced apartments, short term hostels such as backpackers and recreational campsites.

Lodging houses are inspected regularly for compliance with the City's Health Local Laws 1997- Lodging Houses to ensure acceptable sanitary standards, emergency provisions and pest control are being maintained.

Should you wish to open a lodging house, you must ensure you obtain the appropriate planning and building approvals, as well as completing a application to register a lodging house.

To transfer the registration of a lodging house you must complete a application to transfer a lodging house.

For more information on lodging house, contact our environmental health team on 08 9432 9856 or email health@fremantle.wa.gov.au.

For information on planning and building approvals, contact our planning services team on 08 9432 9999 or email planning@fremantle.wa.gov.au.

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Moulds are types of fungi that can grow on walls, timber, carpet, furniture and fabrics that are damp and usually in dark places. Moulds need moisture to grow and thrive in humid conditions. Mould can give off an odour which many people find unpleasant and can cause sneezing, asthma attacks and other respiratory illness in at-risk populations.

Moulds in the household are most commonly found in wet areas such as the bathroom because of the humidity from showers and baths. Condensation on the ceiling and walls provide a good habitat for mould to grow.

The most practical ways of controlling mould growth is by using ventilation, heat and insulation. For further information on mould in the home – Department of Health

If you are having trouble getting rid of mould it is advisable for you to contact a building consultant or inspector (look in the Yellow Pages) which may be able to thoroughly investigate the cause.

Public buildings

A public building is a place where persons may assemble for civic, theatrical, social, political, religious, educational, entertainment, recreational, sporting or business purposes. A public building also includes fenced off outdoor events such as music festivals.

Public buildings are inspected regularly by the City's environmental health officers to ensure compliance with the Health (Public Building) Regulations 1992. This includes checks for fire safety, emergency procedures, ease of egress for escape during an emergency, and ensuring emergency exits are not locked to prevent escape. Our officers also check on the sanitary standard of toilet facilities, bar areas and food preparation areas.

Every public building is initially assessed for maximum capacity through toilet numbers, ventilation, exit widths and floor area. A certificate of approval for maximum accommodation is then issued and this certificate must be displayed in the public building area at all times. Officers conduct routine inspections of nightclubs and pubs, and other high risk public buildings to ensure the building is not being overcrowded with patrons.

Should you wish to construct, alter or extend a public building you must apply to the City for approval. Appropriate planning and building approvals must also be obtained. Plans of the building and payment must be submitted with your application.

Some public buildings require emergency evacuation plans, for more information contact our environmental health services team on 08 9432 9856 or email health@fremantle.wa.gov.au. For information on planning and building approvals, contact our planning services team on 08 9432 9999 or email planning@fremantle.wa.gov.au.

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Public events

Public event organisers are responsible for protecting the health and safety of those who may be affected by the event. If the event is enclosed by a secure fence then the event is to be classed as a public building under the Health (Public Building) Regulations 1992. An application to construct, alter or extend a public building is required to be submitted. if a proposed sporting, cultural or entertainment event should result in the emission of noise in contravention of the standard prescribed, an application for a non-complying event (Regulation 18)  is to be submitted to the City's Chief Executive Officer no later than 60 days before the event.

For information on holding an event, contact the events management team on 08 9432 9999 or email events@fremantle.wa.gov.au. The Department of Health also has more information on public events.

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Contact us

Environmental health service
City of Fremantle
Town Hall Centre
8 William Street
T 08 9432 9999
F 08 9432 9895
TTY 08 9432 9777