Public Health Act 2011
The South Australian Public Health Act 2011 was approved by Parliament in June 2011.
The Act is the result of a review of the Public and Environmental Health Act 1987 and consultation with key stakeholders, particularly local government and Environmental Health Australia SA Branch, other people who have an interest in public health and the general community.
The South Australian Public Health Act 2011 aims to provide a modernised, flexible legislative framework, so South Australia can better respond to new public health challenges as well as traditional hazards.
The Act has a number of new elements but maintains and improves many of the provisions within the current legislation.
The new legislation will help the State prepare and respond to modern public health risks by:
- allowing health officials to take immediate action on a health hazard that presents a serious and immediate threat to public health
- providing stronger powers to health professionals, so they can take action to minimise the risk of communicable diseases
- creating a new position in the Chief Public Health Officer who can use special powers to respond to an epidemic, threat of an epidemic or other significant public health emergencies
- improving coordination between health officials to plan for and deal with public health issues
- defining the roles and powers of public health officials
- providing guidance and codes of practice to help tackle the growing incidence of chronic non-communicable conditions in our community.
The new Act will be progressively introduced over the next two years. New provisions and powers will come on stream following further stakeholder consultation linked to workforce capacity development strategies.