Regulation review program

In the lead up to stage 5 of implementation of the Public Health Act 2016 WA Health must review all regulations adopted under the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911, as well as a number of provisions within the Act, that will be repealed at stage 5. The aim is to determine whether these public health risks must continue to be regulated under the new regulatory framework provided by the Public Health Act or can be managed in other ways such as a local law, other legislation or a guideline.

WA Health is committed to consulting with key stakeholders prior to repealing or replacing any legislation in accordance with the State and Local Government Partnership Agreement (external site).

WA Health will work in collaboration with local government, State Government, non-government organisations, industry and the general public in all consultation processes. 

All regulatory review projects that are open for consultation can be viewed on the WA Health Consultation Hub (external site).

Discussion papers - open for consultation

The following discussion papers are open for public consultation. You are invited to read through the discussion papers and provide your feedback online. 

Discussion Paper Aim Submissions and due date
Commercial Garden Soils  Commercial garden soils which include packaged potting mixes and bulk soil supplies have been associated with a number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease in WA, as a result of exposure to the bacteria Legionella longbeachae. This public health risk is currently managed under the Health (Garden Soil) Regulations 1998, (Garden Soils Regulations) which requires warning labels to be included on packaged materials or for signage to displayed in prominent locations at bulk soil suppliers.

The Commercial Garden Soil Regulation Review Discussion Paper (PDF 5MB) reviews the management of this public health risk to determine the best option for WA. Two options have been considered:
  • Option A: Enable the industry to self-regulate by providing an industry guideline. Repeal the existing regulations and enable the industry to self-regulate by providing an industry guideline or Code of Practice outlining acceptable practices in accordance with relevant Australian Standards. The application of the general public health duty would apply in this circumstance. 
  • Option B: Develop new regulations to manage public health risks associated with garden soils. It is proposed that new regulations would adopt the most up to date labelling and signage requirements outlined in the relevant Australian Standards 4419 - 2003, as well as specify any enforcement responsibilities for local government that allow the issuing of infringement notices for non-compliance. The application of the general public health duty would also apply in this circumstance. 
Stakeholder input is critical in helping to identify the most appropriate management response, or identify new options not considered as part of this proposal, and to ensure the impacts on consumers, business and government have been effectively considered.

Online survey

Stakeholders are asked to read the Discussion Paper (PDF 5MB) and provide feedback through the online survey (external site).

You can read the survey questions (PDF 500KB) (external site) prior to completing the online survey (external site).

 

Submissions are due by 25 February 2019

To make a submission please complete:

Online consultation survey (external site)

Email: publichealthact@health.wa.gov.au

or 

Mail: 
Garden soil regulation review
Environmental Health Directorate 
Department of Health
PO Box 8172, 
Perth Business Centre, WA 6849

Public buildings

This discussion paper reviews the management of public health risks in WA public buildings as prescribed by the Health (Public Buildings) Regulations 1992 (external site).

The Managing public health risks in public buildings in Western Australia discussion paper (PDF 13MB) explores how the risks associated with public building operation should be managed into the future, with two options considered:

  • Option A: Take no action - repeal the existing regulations without replacement and allow the industry to self-regulate.
  • Option B: Provide new, updated public buildings regulations under the Public Health Act 2016. Nine proposals for new regulations are detailed.  

Online survey

Stakeholders are asked to read the Discussion Paper (PDF 13MB) and provide feedback through the online survey (external site).

You can read the survey questions (PDF 500KB) (external site) prior to completing the online survey (external site).

Submissions are due by 17 January 2019 (13 week period)

To make a submission please complete:

Online consultation survey (external site)

Email: publichealthact@health.wa.gov.au

or 

Mail: 
Public Buildings Review
Environmental Health Directorate 
Department of Health
PO Box 8172, 
Perth Business Centre, WA 6849

Previous papers now closed

Public health risk Discussion Paper Purpose of paper Consultation summary Next Steps
Aquatic facilities Management of the public health risks associated with aquatic facilities in Western Australia Discussion Paper (PDF 1MB) Consultation occurred from September 2017 to 30 November 2017.
The key focus of this review is to obtain stakeholder feedback on the most effective option for the management of public health risks associated with aquatic facilities in WA.

  Drafting of regulations will commence.
Morgues Management of public health risks associated with morgues in WA discussion paper (PDF 1MB) Consultation occurred from September 2017 to 30 December 2017
This paper focused on determining the best option for managing the public health risks associated with the temporary storage of human remains (morgues) in a manner which maintains public health.
  The Minister has approved the repeal of this provision at stage 5. A guideline will be drafted to support the application of the general public health duty.
Construction sites, temporary or remote worksites Discussion Paper – Managing sanitation provision and maintenance at construction sites and mobile, temporary or remote worksites (PDF 500KB) Consultation occurred from the 1 July 2018 to 31 August 2018 (8 week period)
The discussion paper reviewed the requirement to provide a temporary toilet at a construction site under the existing Health (Temporary Sanitary Conveniences) Regulations 1997 (external site) and the Health (Construction Work) Regulations 1973 (external site). 

It explored how the management of sanitation provision and maintenance on construction sites and mobile, temporary or remote worksites in WA should occur in the future with four options considered.
Draft Public Health Guideline – Sanitation provision and maintenance on construction sites and mobile, temporary or remote worksites (PDF 500KB).
  Recommendation is to repeal these regulations at stage 5, pending approval.

A guideline will be drafted to support the application of the general public health duty.


Cloth materials Cloth materials discussion paper (PDF 500KB) Consultation occurred from July 2018 to 14 September 2018 (8 week period)
This discussion paper reviewed the management of public health risks associated with cloth materials in WA as prescribed by the Health (Cloth Materials) Regulations 1985 (external site). The document analyses the various options for managing the public health risks associated with cloth materials, including the potential advantages (benefits) and disadvantages (costs) of each option for industry, small business, consumers and local and state government.
  The Minister has approved the repeal of these regulations at stage 5. A guideline will be drafted to support the application of the general public health duty.
Temporary toilets design and construction Temporary Toilets Discussion Paper (PDF 500KB)
This discussion paper reviewed the design and construction requirements for temporary toilets as prescribed by the current Health (Temporary Sanitary Conveniences) Regulations 1997 (external site). Whilst reviewing the Regulations WA Health became aware that the regulations are silent on how ambulant and accessible temporary toilets should be designed and constructed. This is resulting in toilet design styles which are not meeting the needs of persons with disability, persons with continence requirements and persons who require carers or assistance with toileting. While WA is the only state who currently regulates the design and construction of temporary toilets the existence of this issue indicates that perhaps continued regulation or public health guidance which includes ambulant and accessible temporary toilets is required. Please note the discussion paper refers to the 2017 Accessible Temporary Toilets Survey (PDF 500KB)   The Minister has approved the repeal of these regulations at stage 5.

A guideline will be drafted to support the application of the general public health duty.

Regulation review

The proposed regulations, which are subject to change based on public consultation and recommendations from Parliamentary Counsels Office, are outlined below.

Proposed new subsidiary legislative themes to be created under the Public Health Act 2016

  • Events regulations - Aims to manage public health risks associated with public events and mass gatherings. This is a newly proposed regulation.
  • Body art and personal appearance regulations - Aims to protect persons who participate in a body art or personal appearance type procedure from infectious diseases and other infections. This will include a review of the Health (Skin Penetration Procedure) Regulations 1998 and Hairdressing Establishment Regulations 1972
  • Built environment regulation: Aims to protect persons from public health risks related to the built environment. This will include a review of:
    • Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992
    • Construction Camp Regulations
    • Health (Air-Handling and Water Systems) Regulations 1994
    • Health (Aquatic Facilities) Regulations 2007
    • Health (Public Buildings) Regulations 1992
    • Health (Temporary Sanitary Conveniences) Regulations 1997
    • Health Act (Carbon Monoxide) Regulations 1975
    • Health Act (Laundries and Bathrooms) Regulations 
    • Health (Garden Soil) Regulations 1998
    • Also may include provisions for:
      • Lodging Houses
      • Houses Unfit for Occupation
      • Morgues
  • Pest and vector regulation: Aims to protect persons from the public health risks from biting insects and pesticides used to control pest numbers. This will include the review of
    • Health (Pesticides) Regulations 2011
    • Health (Poultry Manure) Regulations 2001
    • And may include requirements to regulate mosquitoes
  • Water regulation: Aims to provide a risk-based legislative framework to all waters (drinking water, wastewater, recycled water and recreational water). This will include the review of:
    • Health (Treatment of Sewage and Disposal of Effluent and Liquid Waste) Regulations 1974
    • Health Act (Underground Water Supply) Regulations 1959
    • Sewerage (Lighting, Ventilation and Construction) Regulations 1971

Regulations that may be repealed

Following consultation, it is anticipated that the below regulations may be repealed. A regulation will only be repealed where the public health risk can be appropriately managed through other means such as other legislation, local laws or a guideline.

  • Piggeries Regulations 1952
  • Health (Section 112(2) Prohibition) Regulations 2006
  • Health (Offensive Trades Fees) Regulations 1976
  • Fly Eradication Regulations 
  • Health (Prescribed Insect Pests) Regulations 1991

Regulation review process

During the development of new regulations the Department of Health must:

  1. Comply with the Department of Treasury's Regulatory Impact Assessment process which requires an analysis of any legislative proposals for WA. This includes the submission of a Preliminary Impact Statement (PIA) and Regulatory Impact Statement (RS) as required
  2. Undertake extensive consultation with local government, industry, public and other key stakeholder groups
  3. Liaise with the Department of Attorney General Parliamentary Counsels Office to draft the legislation
  4. Ensure all regulations are ready to be proclaimed on the same day 

Frequently asked questions

What does the regulation review programme mean for local government?

As a leading enforcement agency, local government has the opportunity to help shape the future of regulations to be created under the new Public Health Act to manage public health risks common to your local district.

The Department of Health strongly encourages local government representatives to provide feedback throughout the regulation review process and be engaged wherever possible.

Will any working groups be established? And how can I be involved?

Depending on the public health risk to be managed and the complexity of the proposed legislation to be developed, the Department may form working groups with representation from industry, State and local government, non-government agencies and associations to ensure key stakeholders have the opportunity to provide expert and practical advice in the development of the legislation.

Local government representatives will be encouraged to participate in these groups, and invitations will be circulated to all local governments seeking nominations to join any groups to be formed.

In some cases the Department has already established working groups, such as the Asbestos Advisory Group, and will continue to engage with members as required throughout the development of new legislation.

What does local government need to do?

Over the few next year the Department will be seeking ideas, suggestions and comments on a range of proposed legislative options to be managed under the Public Health Act.

Local government representatives are encouraged to read the discussion papers and complete the survey questions. It is important that the Department receives feedback as evidence that stakeholders do or do not support the proposal.

Please take the time to explain the reasons behind your suggestions and;

  • where possible provide evidence to support your views (such as statistics or references)
  • provide case studies of issues
  • provide estimates of any cost implications that may relate to the proposal and
  • provide examples of solutions.

Further information

For any queries please email publichealthact@health.wa.gov.au 

Last reviewed: 13-07-2018