New public health Bill 2009 released for public consultation

20 August, 2009

Tougher enforcement powers and huge fines form part of a new Public Health Bill released for public consultation.

Health Minister John Hill said the Public Health Bill 2009 will strengthen and modernise South Australia’s public health laws, and replace the outdated Public and Environmental Health Act 1987.
“The existing Act doesn’t reflect the significant changes that have taken place in our society and in  public health practices over the last 20 years, so it needs to be replaced,” Minister Hill said.
“The Bill will provide modern, flexible health regulations and tougher enforcement powers to protect  South Australians from practices that put their health and well-being at risk.
“The proposed changes will also help us to respond to new and emerging public health challenges,  like pandemic flu and SARS, and lifestyle conditions such as obesity and chronic conditions.  
“Under the current Act, the maximum penalty for risking public health is only $60,000. The new Bill would increase the maximum penalty to up to $1m and 10 years imprisonment.”
Contributions from the public must be submitted in writing to: [email protected] by 5.00pm on Wednesday 7 October 2009.
“People should expect a more transparent and accountable working relationship between state government and local councils on public health issues, with everyone aware of their roles and responsibilities.” Minister Hill said.
Other changes to current legislation proposed in the Public Health Bill 2009 include:
  • Increased management of people with controlled infectious disease whose behaviour may be placing others at risk
  • Establishing the statutory position of Chief Public Health Officer 
  • An expanded South Australian Public Health Council to replace the Public and Environmental Health Council
 The Bill and an Explanatory Paper can be viewed on the SA Health website at: