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Public Health Act 2005 – 23 September 2016

Public Health Regulation 2005 – 1 January 2016

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A public health order may require a person to do something at a place that is reasonably necessary to remove or reduce the risk to public health from a public health risk, or prevent a risk to public health from recurring. For the definition of ‘public health risk’, refer to section 11 of the Act.

  • Sections 11, 21, 22, 23, 24, 33, 34, 35

If there is an outbreak of disease capable of transmission to humans by designated pests or a plague or infestation of designated pests, the government may authorise a prevention and control program for an area. The government must publish the relevant authorisation at least 7 days before the start of the program, in the area to which the program relates, by newspaper, radio or television. For the definition of ‘designated pests’, refer to the Schedule 2 dictionary.

  • Sections 8, 36, 37, 38, 41, 46, Schedule 2

A drinking water service provider must not supply drinking water that the provider knows, or reasonably ought to know, is unsafe. A similar rule applies to recycled water. For the definition of ‘drinking water’, refer to the Schedule 2 dictionary.

  • Sections 8, 57C, 57D, 57E, 57F, Schedule 2

A person must not use or permit the use of lead in, or for the purposes of, constructing, erecting, altering, extending, improving, renovating or repairing a building or part of a building if the lead is, or may be, easily accessible to children. In addition, a person must not use, or permit the use of, in a building any of the following things if the thing has in or on it a substance that contains lead: a roof, guttering, downpipe or other thing for carrying water to a tank or other receptacle for potable water; or a tank or other receptacle for potable water.

  • Sections 58, 59

The owner of a building, or part of a building, must not knowingly allow lead to remain in or on the building or part of the building if the lead is, or may be, easily accessible to children.

  • Sections 58, 59

A person manufacturing, selling, supplying or using paint must comply with the standard prescribed by this Act.

  • Section 60; Regulation 18A

A doctor must notify the government (in the approved form) if an examination of a person by the doctor outside a hospital indicates that the person: has or had a clinical diagnosis notifiable condition; or has or had a provisional diagnosis notifiable condition. This obligation shifts to the person in charge of a hospital when the examination occurs in a hospital. For what constitutes a ‘clinical diagnosis notifiable condition’ or a ‘provisional diagnosis notifiable condition’, refer to Schedule 1 of the Public Health Regulation 2005.

  • Sections 62, 69, 70, 71, 74; Regulations 4, 7, 9, 10, Schedules 1, 2

The government may order the detention of a person at a public sector health service if there is a reasonable suspicion the person has, or may have, a controlled notifiable condition. For what constitutes a ‘controlled notifiable condition’, refer to Schedule 1 of the Public Health Regulation 2005.

  • Sections 63, 113, 114, 115; Regulation 8, Schedule 1

If a parent knows or ought reasonably to know that the parent’s child has, or may have, a contagious condition, the parent must not send the child to any school, education and care service, etc during the prescribed period for the condition. For the purposes of the Act, the relevant contagious conditions are listed in Schedule 2A of the Public Health Regulation 2005. For the definition of ‘prescribed period’, refer to section 160 of the Act and Schedule 2A of the Public Health Regulation 2005.

  • Sections 158, 160, 161, 164; Regulations 12B, 12E, Schedule 2A

If a designated medical officer becomes aware, or reasonably suspects, that a child at a health service facility has been harmed or is at risk of harm; and is likely to leave or be taken from the facility and suffer harm if the designated medical officer does not take immediate action; the designated medical officer may order that the child be held at the facility by means of a care and treatment order. It is important to note that the designated medical officer must give the government notice of the order as soon as practicable after the order is made. Further, at least one of the parents is to be informed of the order. A child that is detained may be medically examined or treated pursuant to section 209 of the Act. For the definition of ‘health service facility’, refer to section 158 of the Act.

  • Sections 158, 188, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 205, 206, 207, 209, 211, 212, 460

A person in charge of an education and care service or QEC approved service may refuse to enrol a child at the service or allow attendance, where an immunisation history statement is not provided which shows the child’s immunisation status is “up to date”. For the definition of ‘QEC approved service’, refer to section 158 of the Act. For the definition of ‘immunisation history statement’, refer to section 160A of the Act.

  • Sections 158, 160A, 160B, 160C

A person must not perform, or offer to perform, a cosmetic procedure on a child. For what constitutes a ‘cosmetic procedure’, refer to section 213A of the Act.

  • Sections 213A, 213B; Regulation 12F

After a delivery of a baby born dead or alive, the designated person must, within the time prescribed under a regulation, notify the government in the approved form. For the definition of ‘designated person’, refer to section 214 of the Act. The designated person is generally a doctor or midwife.

  • Sections 214, 217; Regulation 13

If a health professional had primary responsibility for the care or treatment of a woman while she was pregnant or within 365 days after the end of her pregnancy; and is aware of the maternal death of the woman; the health professional must, within the time prescribed under a regulation, give the government a notification about the death.

  • Sections 228C, 228F; Regulation 13A

If a pathological examination of a specimen of human origin indicates that the person from whom the specimen was taken is or was suffering from cancer, the director of the pathology laboratory where the examination is undertaken must complete a notification for the person and give the notification to the government within the time prescribed under a regulation. Note: Other cancer notifications are set out in section 234 of the Act. For the definition of ‘pathology laboratory’, refer to the Schedule 2 dictionary.

  • Sections 8, 229, 234, 235, Schedule 2; Regulations 15, 16

The director of a pathology laboratory, who receives a request to test a Pap smear, histological sample or HPV sample obtained from a woman, must give the woman’s identifying and clinical information, as required under a regulation, to the government (unless there is an election by the woman to the contrary). Upon receipt of the information, the government enters the identifying information onto its register and in the first instance, sends a notice to the woman with details of her rights to amend/remove information. The government may use the information to send reminder notices to the woman (or her health practitioner) that she may be overdue for her next Pap smear.

  • Sections 251, 252, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262; Regulation 18

A person may apply in writing to the government to be given health information held by a health agency for research being conducted by the person or by an entity of which the person is a member. For the definition of ‘research’, refer to section 280 of the Act.

  • Sections 280, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 290, 291

If the government is satisfied there is a public health emergency and it is necessary to take action to prevent or minimise serious adverse effects on human health, the government may declare a public health emergency by a signed written order.

  • Sections 315, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 327, 332

In most instances civil liability for asbestos-related harm is prevented from attaching to a government official. It attaches instead to the relevant local government.

  • Sections 454A, 454B, 454H, 454II

In non-workplace areas, a person must not remove friable ACM (crumbling asbestos material) unless the person holds a class A asbestos removal licence under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 authorising the removal. Note: Pursuant to regulation 2E of the Public Health Regulation 2005, bonded asbestos material may be removed in non-workplace areas up to a quantity of not more than 10 m(2) without licence/certificate. A certificate is required if this quantity is reached or exceeded. Removed asbestos material is to be packaged pursuant to regulation 2I of the Public Health Regulation 2005.

  • Section 61; Regulations 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 2I, 2J

An occupier/owner of a place must ensure that an accumulation of water or another liquid at the place is not a breeding ground for mosquitos.

  • Section 61; Regulations 2K, 2L, 2M, 2N

Tanks used to store water must have mosquito-proof screens at every opening of the tank.

  • Section 61; Regulations 2K, 2L, 2M, 2O, 2P, 2Q

An owner of a building must take reasonable steps to stop rats and mice entering the structure.

  • Section 61; Regulations 2R, 2S, 2T, 2U, 2V, 2W

A person who keeps rats or mice as pets and for other legitimate purposes must keep the rats or mice in an enclosure from which they cannot escape.

  • Section 61; Regulations 2R, 2X
Reason for law

To protect and promote the health of the Queensland public. (Section 6)

Relevant links

Public Health Act 2005 [Queensland Health]
Communicable Disease Control Guidance and Information: A-Z
Queensland Health Pap Smear Register
Access to Confidential Health Information
Health Statistics Branch Publications
Publications – Queensland Maternal and Perinatal Quality Council
Queensland Familial Cancer Registry
Queensland Cancer Control Analysis Team

Cervical screening (Pap smear) and prevention [Queensland Government]

Asbestos Safety [Queensland Government]

Asbestos Advice [Queensland Government]

Immunise Australia Program [Australian Government – Department of Health]

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [Australian Government]

Queensland Cancer Registry [Cancer Council Queensland]
Order or download resources
Facts and figures

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Brisbane Youth Service

Australian Women’s Health Network

Baby Friendly Health Initiative [Queensland Government]
Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative [World Health Organisation]

Deaf Services Queensland

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children

Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT)

Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMA Queensland)

Public Health Association Australia (PHAA)

Macular Disease Foundation
Amsler Grid

Black Dog Institute

Beyond Blue

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation


Mummy’s wish – helping mums with cancer

Breast Cancer Network Australia

Radio Lollipop

Scar Stories

Pregnancy Crisis Incorporated

United Nations World Food Programme

World Health Organisation  (WHO)


The Fertility Society of Australia

Australian Counselling Association

National Electronic Health Transition Agency

Mercy Ships Australia

World Obesity Federation

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Diabetic Foot Australia


Queensland Brain Institute (QBI)

Australian Vaccination Network (AVN)

Quoll Digital Medical Pendant

Healthier.Happier. [Queensland Government]

Queensland Genomics Health Alliance

Media article

Spiritual care at the end of life can add purpose and help maintain identity

Health benefits for seniors learning to play musical instruments

3D body-mapping pod mPort launches new app allowing people to monitor their physical health

Boys should also get the HPV vaccine to protect themselves from oral and genital cancers

Genetic testing isn’t a crystal ball for your health

Europe-founded, New Zealand-trialled app Ada offers a virtual assessment of health symptoms in real time

Australia should learn from the UK and publish clinician performance data

Public hospital patients stung with ‘absurd’ TV fees

Do you have mal-illumination? Our bodies’ many cries for sunlight

AMA says MKR’s Pete Evans ‘putting his fans’ health at risk’ after Sunday Night interview

Life in a nursing home at 33: Sick young people put in aged care

Suggested further reading
Global Law Program – PODCAST

Interview with Alexandra French, Co-Founder, NADU-nasal duo cleaning tool, ALM HealthTech –  Global Law Program 38 20170319


Section 9: notes forming part of an Act is not common for Acts of Parliament.

For consistency with other Acts, section 61 may be consolidated with section 461 so that there is only one section providing for regulations.

In the interests of male health, the pap smear follow-up regime could be replicated for prostrate checks.



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PLEASE NOTE: The information published on this webpage may be out-of-date. Please compare the currency date of the Act/Regulation against that published on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. If you require access to Commonwealth statute law, please visit the ComLaw website. If you require access to the local council laws (by-laws), please visit the Local laws database.

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