Links to State and Territory Public Health Legislation, the Biosecurity Act, and the National Health Security Act 2007

This page contains links to Australian states and territories public health legislation, on their respective websites and the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act and amendments.

Page last updated: 19 September 2018

When the Australian Government was established in 1901, it had limited involvement in public health issues, with the exception of quarantine. This has remained largely unchanged with the States taking a major responsibility for public health management of communicable diseases.

The Biosecurity Act 2015 provides for the management of biosecurity threats posed by people, goods, vessels and aircraft at Australia’s international borders. The departments of Health and Agriculture and Water Resources have joint responsibility for administration of the Act, which commenced on 16 June 2016 and fully replaced the Quarantine Act 1908.

Public health legislation in each State and Territory mandates the reporting of certain diseases by medical practitioners, hospitals, and/or laboratories to the relevant State or Territory Communicable Diseases Unit. Notifications are collected at the State/Territory level, and computerised, de-identified records are sent to the Australian Government Department of Health for collation into the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) for analysis at a national level. NNDSS was established in consultation with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA).

The following links provide access to relevant public health legislation for each of the Australian States and Territories and to the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act.

Australian Capital Territory

Public Health Act 1997

New South Wales

Notification of Infectious Diseases under the NSW Public Health Act 2010

Northern Territory

Notifiable Diseases Act


Public Health Act

South Australia

Public Health Legislation in South Australia


Public Health Act and Associated Guidelines

Public Health Services


Victorian Legislation and Supporting Information relevant to Health Services Providers

Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Surveillance

Western Australia

Western Australian Legislation - Public Health Act 2016

Western Australian Legislation - Public Health Regulations 2017

Commonwealth legislation

Biosecurity Act 2015

National Health Security Act 2007

National Health Security (National Notifiable Disease List) Instrument 2018

National Health Security Agreement

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