Councils play some important roles in public health. State laws require councils to check that food and drink from shops, and the water in swimming pools and at beaches is free from disease. Councils also have to check that beauty parlours and tattoo shops are safe from sources of infection.
With some assistance from the State and Commonwealth, many councils provide vaccination services to schools, as well as some public clinics for young children and adults. Immunisation has increased life expectancy and prevented a lot of suffering, particularly among children.
Councils also enforce some State laws made to prevent harm to human health from waste and pollution in the air, water and soil. Councils also apply laws to development to prevent risks to health, such as the risk of a new factory being built near schools or homes.
For example, if there is a need for a specialist medical centre in the community, such as the 'Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre' in Burnie, then the council may choose to get involved.
Councils pay for legally required public health services from rates. Councils may also fund a range of additional health services from rates and other income. The exact choice of services a council provides, depend on the what the specific community needs are, along with budget the community can afford.