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under the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911, as well as a number of provisions within the Act, that will be repealed at stage 5.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

The following discussion papers are in development.

Discussion paper Aim Submissions
Air-handling/cooling tower/ water systems

The discussion paper ‘Air-handling and water systems of commercial buildings review – Part 2 (PDF 1MB)’ explores the proposed legislative content for new regulations for air handling and water systems in WA. At present, these systems are regulated under the Health (Air-handling and Water Systems) Regulations 1994.

This paper should be read in conjunction with the discussions paper ‘Air-handling and water systems of commercial buildings review (PDF 1MB)’ which investigated the most effective option for managing the potential public health risks associated with air-handling and water distribution systems in WA to prevent the spread of air-borne disease such as Legionnaires Disease.

Initial consultation occurred from May to July 2019 determined strong support for the ongoing management of air-handling and water systems by way of regulation under the Public Health Act, with building requirements to be addressed by the Building Code of Australia.

Submissions are due COB Monday 31st August 2020.

Submissions can be made by: Online survey (external site)

Email: publichealthact@health.wa.gov.au

Mail: Air-Handling Part 2 Regulation Review Submission 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
Air-handling / cooling tower / water systems
Air-handling and water systems of commercial buildings review (PDF 6MB)
Consultation occurred from May to 31 July 2019
The discussion paper reviews the management of public health risks for buildings with air-handling and water systems, currently regulated under theHealth (Air-handling and Water Systems) Regulations 1994
Consultation recently closed. Summary paper in development.
In development.
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.
Consultation recently closed. Summary paper in development.
In development.
Asbestos
Discussion paper not available electronically.
Consultation occurred in 2014
The discussion paper proposed changes to the Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992 (external site).
Consultation summary not available electronically.
Drafting instructions for new regulations to be provided to Parliamentary Counsel.
Body art and personal appearances services regulation review
Discussion Paper on the revision of the skin penetration and hairdressing regulations (1MB PDF)
Consultation occurred from December 2013 to March 2014
The Discussion Paper outlined proposed changes to the Health (Skin Penetration Procedures) Regulation 1998 (external site) of these services. This consultation occurred prior to the enactment of the Public Health Act 2016.

Consultation summary - Body art and personal services review (100KB PDF)
Drafting instructions for new regulations to be provided to Parliamentary Counsel.
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.
Consultation summary - Cloth materials (250KB PDF)
The Minister has approved the repeal of the regulations at stage 5.
Draft Guideline for the management of public health risks associated with cloth materials in WA (PDF 2MB)
Commercial garden soils
Commercial Garden Soil Regulation Review Discussion Paper (PDF 5MB)
Consultation occurred from December 2018 to February 2019
The Discussion Paper reviews the management of this public health risk of 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 risk is currently managed under the Health (Garden Soil) Regulations 1998.
Garden soil consultation summary (1MB PDF)
The Minister has approved the repeal of the legislation and replacement with the Draft guideline for managing public health risks associated with commercial garden soils (PDF 250KB)
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).

The preferred option was to repeal the regulations and replace with an industry guideline - Draft Public Health Guideline – Sanitation provision and maintenance on construction sites and mobile, temporary or remote worksites (PDF 500KB)
Construction sites summary paper (250KB PDF)
The Minister has approved the repeal of the legislation and replacement with a guideline.

A guideline is currently being developed.
Drinking water
A new regulatory framework for drinking water in Western Australia (PDF 1.5MB)
Consultation occurred from May to 30 August 2019
This discussion paper reviews the most effective option for managing the public health risks associated with drinking water in WA.
Drinking water consultation summary (PDF 617KB)
In development. 
Events Managing public health risks at events in Western Australia discussion paper (PDF 5.9MB) 
Consultation occurred from April to June 2019
This discussion paper reviews the management of public health risks at events in Western Australia, currently managed under the Health (Public Buildings) Regulations 1992 (external site).
Events Consultation Summary (150KB PDF)
The Minister has approved the creation of regulations.

Drafting instructions for new regulations to be provided to Parliamentary Counsel.

Hairdressing establishment review
 Proposed repeal of the Hairdressing Establishment Regulations 1972 discussion paper (PDF 500KB)
Consultation occurred from January 2016 to 20 March 2016
The discussion paper proposed the repeal of the Hairdressing Establishment Regulations 1972 (external site), with replacement by an industry guideline. This consultation occurred prior to the enactment of the Public Health Act 2016. 
Consultation summary - Hairdressing establishment review (100KB PDF)
 The Minister has approved the repeal of the regulations at stage 5.
A guideline will be drafted to support the application of the general public health duty.
Housing
Managing housing risks in WA (PDF 2,706KB)
Consultation occurred from September to 12 December 2019
This paper determines whether the public health risks from housing must continue to be regulated or whether these risks can be effectively managed through an alternative approach, such as other State legislation, a guideline or a local law.

 Consultation recently closed. Summary paper in development.
In development.

Lodging houses Managing lodging house health risks in Western Australia (PDF 1.12MB) Consultation occurred from January to April 2020 The discussion paper reviews the management of public health risks for lodging houses currently regulated under the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911. Consultation recently closed. Summary paper in development. In development.
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.
Morgues consultation summary (250KB PDF)
Future risks to be managed under the Draft Guideline for the preparation of the deceased prior to burial or cremation (PDF 2MB)
Offensive trades 
Management of public health risks related to offensive trades in Western Australia discussion paper (PDF 4 MB)
Consultation occurred from April to 31 July 2019 
This discussion paper (PDF 4MB) reviews the most effective option for managing the public health risks associated with offensive trades in WA to meet community needs into the future.
Offensive Trades Summary (PDF 1.2MB)
The Minister has approved the repeal of the legislation and replacement with a guideline. 

A guideline is currently being developed.
 Pesticides
 Managing public health risks associated with pesticides in Western Australia (PDF 838KB)
 Consultation occurred from July to October 2019
This discussion Paper (PDF 838KB) reviews the management of pesticides in Western Australia, currently managed under the Health (Pesticide) Regulations 2011 (external site).
 Consultation recently closed. Summary paper in development.
 In development. 
 Public buildings
 Managing public health risks in public buildings in Western Australia discussion paper (PDF 13MB)
 Consultation occurred from November 2018 to February 2018
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).
 Public building consultation summary (1MB PDF)
The Minister has approved the creation of regulations.

Drafting instructions for new regulations to be provided to Parliamentary Counsel.
Temporary toilets design and construction Temporary Toilets Discussion Paper (PDF 500KB)
Consultation occurred from 14 July to 14 September 2018 
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)
Consultation summary - Temporary toilets design and construction (100KB  PDF) The Minister has approved the repeal of the regulations at stage 5.

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

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 program 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: 02-06-2020