Local authorised officers

The South Australian Public Health Act 2011 provides for the appointment of local authorised officers by local councils. Local authorised officers are given specific powers that they can exercise to ensure that the purpose of the Act is maintained or complied with within their local jurisdiction.

A local authorised officer may

  • at any reasonable time, enter or inspect any premises or vehicle
  • ask questions of any person
  • inspect any article or substance
  • take and remove samples of any substance or other thing
  • require any person to produce any plans, specifications, books, papers or documents
  • take photographs, films or video recordings
  • take measurements, make notes and carry out tests

It is an offence to hinder or obstruct an authorised officer or a person assisting an authorised officer in the exercise of a specified power.

Identification cards

A local authorised officer must, at the request of a person in relation to whom the officer intends to exercise any powers under the Act, produce for the inspection of the person his or her identity card.

Identity cards must contain the:

  • authorised officers name and photo
  • name or office of the issuing authority
  • local council name
  • details of any limitations on the authorisation.


A person is not eligible for appointment as an authorised officer unless the person holds a qualification approved by the Minister or an exemption from the Minister.

See the Approved qualification for appointment as a local authorised officer under the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 (PDF 340KB) for a list of approved qualifications.

Notification of appointment

In accordance with section 44 of the Act, a council must notify the Chief Public Health Officer if the Council makes or revokes an appointment of a Local authorised officer. Notification is to be made using the Making or revoking of the appointment of a local authorised officer form (DOC 64KB)

Local councils

A local council must employ a sufficient number of environmental health officers to perform its functions under the Act, including to:

  • take action to preserve, protect and promote public health within its area
  • ensure that adequate sanitation measures are in place in its area;
  • have adequate measures in place within its area to ensure that activities do not adversely affect public health
  • identify risks to public health within its area and ensure that remedial action is taken to reduce or eliminate adverse impacts or risks to public health
  • assess activities and development, or proposed activities or development, within its area in order to determine and respond to public health impacts