Select Page
Fire Safety

Fire Safety Schedules (FSS) and Annual Fire Safety Statements and Fire safety practitioner reforms

Recent State Government changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the Act) in 2021 have changed the requirements for the submission and the process of obtaining an Annual Fire Safety Certificate for commercial or industrial buildings throughout the State including Hilltops Council.

Please note buildings constructed before 1984 do not require a fire safety schedule unless development has occurred or a fire safety order has been issued by Council or NSW Fire and Rescue.

To obtain an Annual Fire Safety Certificate you must first have a Fire Safety Statement for a commercial or industrial building.

There are generally 2 scenarios:

  1. That there is a requirement on your development consent whereby a condition of consent is imposed for the owner of the building to produce an Annual Fire Safety Certificate. It is a requirement to produce this document and Council can enforce this under the Act.
  2. That your building is of an older age and there is no such condition of development consent. However, your insurance company may request an Annual Fire Safety Certificate for your building.

Your first step is to contact Council and request a copy of the Fire Safety Schedule (FSS) or Annual Fire Safety Certificate for your building. You are advised if you have never submitted a FSS to Council then Council may not have a copy of the FSS or Fire Safety Certificate or any records pertaining to fire protection for your building.

Should Council not have a FSS for your building you will need to engage an Unrestricted Building Surveyor to complete a fire safety compliance audit, The Accredited Certifier will conduct a site inspection and generate a FSS for your building and notify Council of the FSS.

An Unrestricted Building Surveyor is an experienced person who performs the duty of fire safety audits and other building surveyor tasks as certified by the Department of Fair Trading.


  • A fire safety schedule must deal with the whole of the building; and
  • As fire safety schedules are generated they must detail measures that either;
    • Currently implemented; or
    • Proposed or Required; and
    • Statutory or
  • A fire safety schedule must distinguish between measures listed as currently implemented, proposed or required, and measure that are statutory or critical.

Fire Safety Practitioners

To receive an Annual Fire Safety Statement you will need to engage a person accredited under the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) accreditation scheme. Only a person accredited under the approved industry accreditation scheme can do the work covered by that scheme.

The scheme covers:

  • Endorsing the design of relevant fire safety systems: sprinklers, hydrants and hose reels, fire detection and alarm systems, but not mechanical smoke control systems
  • Assessing the performance of essential fire safety measures for annual/supplementary fire safety statements
  • Endorsing the following non-statutory measures for annual/supplementary fire safety statements: emergency planning and alarm monitoring.

Visit the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) for a register of accredited practitioners. 

Annual Fire Safety Statement

An annual fire safety statement is a declaration by or on behalf of a building owner that an Accredited Practitioner (fire safety) (APFS) has:

  • Assessed, inspected and verified the performance of each existing essential fire safety measure that applies to the building, and
  • Inspected the exit systems serving the building and found that the exit systems within the building do not contravene the provisions of Division 7 of Part 9 of the

A building owner must ensure that an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) for the building is issued each year and that a copy of the statement and Fire Safety Schedule (FSS) is provided to council.

Fire Safety Templates can be found on Fair Trading website

Additional information regarding Fire Safety Schedule and Statement can be found here

The onus is on the property owner to ensure that your building is compliant with the Fire Safety legislation.

Food Premises

Hilltops Council is appointed as an Enforcement Agency by the NSW Food Authority. This enables the NSW Food Authority and Hilltops Council to work together under the system known as the Food Regulation Partnership.

Under the Food Regulation Partnership, Council maintains the responsibilities to routinely inspect retail food premises and to investigate any concerns raised regarding any food activity within the Council.

Council’s Environmental Health Officers are available to offer professional advice and instruction on food safety matters. They can be contacted on 1300 445 586.


Food information sessions for not-for-profit sporting and community groups

Periodically, Council may provide information sessions on Food Safety to not-for-profit sporting and community group organisations. If you would like Council staff to undertake an information session on Food Safety, please contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on 1300 445 586.

Food Safety Information sessions conducted by Council is aimed at sporting and community groups that are currently not legislated to hold Food Safety Supervisor Certification under the Food Act 2003. Therefore, Council Food Safety Information Sessions is not a certified Food Safety Supervisor course.


Food Safety Supervisor

The Food Act 2003 requires certain food businesses in the NSW hospitality and retail food service sector to have at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor.

The Food Safety Supervisor requirement applies to retail businesses who process and sell food (prepare and serve) that is:

  • ready-to-eat
  • potentially hazardous (i.e. needs temperature control)
  • NOT sold and served in the supplier’s original package.

If you wish to clarify whether your business requires a Food Safety Supervisor, please contact Council.

Registered Training Organisations that offer the Food Safety Supervisor course can be found here.


Food information fact sheets

For more information on food safety, the NSW Food Authority’s food handling fact sheets are available for download here.


Starting a food business

There are many things to consider when starting your own food business. It is strongly recommended to contact Council early with your plans to determine what approvals will be required.


Standards for food premises and equipment

Food premises must comply with Food Safety Standards 3.2.3 of the Food Standards Code.


Registration of food businesses

Council’s forms for the registration of new businesses are available by contacting Council.


Temporary food premises

A temporary event is any occasion which is not permanent and where food is sold to consumers. Examples include fairs, festivals, markets and shows.

All temporary food stalls will need to comply with the requirements of Guidelines for food businesses at temporary events  as detailed by the NSW Food Authority. The guideline advises of legal obligations, basic construction requirements and suggest ways on to maintain food safety at the event.

In many circumstances, a temporary food business may be required to train and appoint a Food Safety Supervisor. If you are unsure whether you will be required to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor, please contact Council.


Scores on Doors

Scores on Doors is the NSW food business hygiene rating program that enables consumers to make informed choices about where to eat or shop for food. It drives food safety culture in food businesses and reduces the potential for foodborne illness.

Scores on Doors gives greater visibility and transparency of compliance by food businesses.


Eating out? Getting food in? Check the Scores on Doors

To help you choose where to eat out or shop for food Hilltops Council is participating in the voluntary NSW Scores on Doors program.

The program gives you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pub bistros, cafés, takeaways, hotels, and other places you eat out.


Visible hygiene scores

Scores on Doors is being run by Hilltops Council in partnership with the NSW Food Authority.

The program will help you choose where to eat out or shop for food.
Certificates on display at participating food premises give you information about the hygiene standards in food premises at the time they were inspected by one of our officers. Council officers check that businesses are meeting legal requirements for food hygiene.

It’s not easy to judge hygiene standards on appearance alone. The Scores on Doors certificates give you an idea of what’s going on in the kitchen, or behind closed doors.


Consumers can choose

You can check the scores and use the information to choose a business with higher standards.

It’s also good to share this information with friends and family.

Scores on Doors ratings recognise businesses with the highest standards and encourage others to improve.

The program aims is to reduce the number of cases of food poisoning which currently affects around 5.4 million Australians every year.

Septic and Drainage

OSSM – On Site Sewage Management Systems

Hilltops Council regulate On Site Sewage Managements Systems (OSSM) to ensure compliance with relevant legislation.

OSSM systems are designed to treat and release wastewater into the environment, which can include solid and liquid waste. If these systems are not maintained or installed appropriately, there can be serious health repercussions and environmental impacts. These can include (but are not limited to):

  • The spread of disease, bacteria, pathogens, and viruses
  • Contamination of surface and groundwater
  • Spreading of unpleasant odours
  • Encouraging vermin and insects
  • Degradation of vegetation and soil

What is an On-Site Sewage Management System?

An onsite sewage management system, or commonly known as a septic system is an on-site system that manages waste and wastewater from your property. This includes from your toilets, washing machine, dishwasher, and drains. It is important that an appropriate system is installed in an appropriate location to reduce any risk to your health and the environment’s health.

There are a few options for onsite sewage management systems, examples of the types of systems include:

  • Secondary Treatment or Aerated Water Treatment System (AWTS), and
  • Primary Treatment septic tanks

Do I need approval from Council?

Approval is required via section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 application to install, alter, modify or to operate an On-Site Sewage Management System (OSSM). To find out more information on how to process this application online through the NSW Planning Portal system click here.

Click here for the Hilltops On-Site Sewerage Management Policy

Information to be provided with your Application

Please include the following information with the completed Application Form via the Service NSW Planning Portal

  • A copy of the NSW Health Accreditation and Manufacturer’s specifications for proposed septic tank/ system
  • Design plan of proposed effluent disposal area (i.e. absorption trenches),
  • A floor plan of the dwelling/building the septic system is to be connected to. For non-residential systems, please provide a statement detailing the proposed or current use of the building/s the OSSM will be connected to and the amount of people expected to be using the system each day (for calculation of the daily wastewater load),
  • An accurately drawn, detailed site plan drawn to scale and showing the following:
    • Proposed location of preferred wastewater treatment system and intended
    • land application area
    • Location of any existing and proposed dwellings and other buildings and structures on the property
    • Location of property boundaries, watercourses (including rivers, creeks, dams, creeks, gullies, and bores), and trees
    • Please indicate the distance the wastewater treatment system and land application area will be from all of the above (including buildings, boundaries and watercourses), ensuring NSW Health buffer setback distances are complied with

Is your land less than 1 hectare?

  • A Wastewater Management Plan, including a site and soil assessment prepared by a suitably qualified consultant, will need to be provided with your application using criteria from Australian Standard AS/NZS 1547 Onsite Domestic Wastewater Management and the Environment & Health Protection Guidelines – OnSite Sewage Management for Single Households (1998)

Please Note: Staff may request additional information including a Wastewater Management Plan depending on location and environmental sensitivity of the land, even if the property is greater than 1 hectare in area

Assistance using the Planning Portal

If you require assistance using the Planning Portal, and you were unable to find the answer within the Help and Support section of the Planning Portal Platform, contact Service NSW for assistance. Call 1300 305 695 or email

Useful Links

NSW Health Certificates of Accreditation

NSW Health Fact Sheet on Primary Treatment Septic Tanks and Collection Wells

NSW Health Fact Sheet on Aerated Wastewater Treatment System (AWTS)

NSW Health Fact Sheet on Wastewater Management and Water Recycling

Office of Local Government Website OSSM Laws and Regulations

Section 68 of the Local Government Act which lists all the activities that require Section 68 approval

NSW Planning Portal – Apply for your Section 68 application HERE

Further Information

Contact Council on 1300 445 586 or with any further OSSM related enquires.


Coming soon