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Victorian Health Legislation

Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 came into effect on 1 January 2010.

The Act and the Regulations are available on the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website.

About

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 received Royal Assent in September 2008.

The Act took effect on 1 January 2010. 

The new Act replaces the previous Health Act 1958. It updates and modernises Victoria’s public health framework. The Act is a key piece of legislation designed to protect the health of the population.

The Act is available on the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website. 

The Act covers a wide range of matters and has implications for many including:

  • authorised officers within local councils and the Department of Human Services
  • pest control operators
  • cooling tower operators
  • the governance and management of a range of consultative councils established under the Act
  • the management of infectious diseases, micro-organisms and medical conditions by medical and health practitioners, the Victorian Chief Health Officer and affected individuals
  • the development of public health policy through providing for municipal public health and wellbeing plans, a State public health and wellbeing plan and in some circumstances, health impact assessments.

The Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations were made by the Governor in Council on 15 December 2009.
The Regulations took effect on 1 January 2010.

The new regulations replace the ten sets of regulations that were made under the previous Health Act 1958 including the:

  • Health (Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity) Regulations 2002)
  • Health (Exempt Businesses) Regulations 2005
  • Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1999
  • Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 2001
  • Health (Legionella) Regulations 2001
  • Health (Pest Control) Regulations 2002
  • Health (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2001
  • Health (Prescribed Consultative Councils) Regulations 2002
  • Health (Registration of Premises) Regulations 2002
  • Health (Seizure) Regulations 2003

The Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 contain provisions that cover:

  • Consultative Councils;
  • Nuisances;
  • Prescribed Accommodation and Registered Premises;
  • Aquatic Facilities;
  • Cooling Tower Systems and Legionella Risks in Certain Premises;
  • Pest Control; and
  • Management and Control of Infectious Diseases, Micro-organisms and Medical Conditions

Background to the development of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008

To support the development of the new legislative framework, the Victorian Government conducted a major review of the Health Act 1958. This included the release of a discussion paper in 2004 and a draft policy paper in 2005 (see below).

pdf Review of the Health Act 1958: A new legislative framework for public health in Victoria (pdf, 430kb)
pdf Review of the Health Act 1958: Draft policy paper - for consultation (pdf, 1.45mb)

Submissions to the 2004 discussion paper and the draft policy paper are available.

Background to the development of the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009

The PHWA provides for regulations to be made to support the general requirements of the Act as well as to provide more detailed operational requirements.

The Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations replace the ten sets of regulations that were previously made under the Health Act 1958.

In developing the Regulations, a regulatory impact statement (RIS) was prepared on draft regulations, which were released for public comment on 16 September 2009. Forty-four submissions were received in response. Information about the analysis of submissions, the Department’s response to submissions and copies of the submissions are available.

 

 
 
Last updated: 29 October, 2010
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