The Public Health Regulation 2022 (the Regulation) commenced on 1 September 2022. The Regulation carries over many of the provisions in the Public Health Regulation 2012 while also including a range of new provisions.

Last updated: 06 September 2022

Overview of key changes

The Regulation contains provisions to support the Public Health Act 2010, including in relation to legionella control, disposal of bodies, control of skin penetration procedures, control of public swimming pools and spa pools, and codes of conduct for non-registered health practitioners.

Following consultation, a number of changes have been introduced to enhance the operation of the regulation and to improve public health in NSW. Some key changes to the Regulation are:

Part 2 Legionella control

  • Strengthening of the independence requirements for auditors in section 15 to address concerns around conflict of interest.
  • Two new penalty notice offences for:
    • failing to have documents available for inspection by an authorised officer
    • failing to notify the local government authority when details relating to a cooling water system change.

Part 3 Public swimming pools and spa pools

  • New requirement excluding water play parks and other recreational structures from the definition of swimming pool or spa pool if they use a public water supply, do not use a recirculation system and do not store water.
  • Removal of ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) as a method of measuring disinfection effectiveness. ORP systems may still be used however disinfectant levels and monitoring must comply with Schedule 1 requirements.

Part 4 Skin penetration

  • Hand basins must not be obstructed or used for storage.
  • Equipment must be cleaned in a dedicated sink.
  • Hand basins must be supplied with liquid soap and alcohol based cleaner.
  • The requirement to comply with AS2182:1998 has been removed as this standard was rescinded and will not be remade.
  • New requirements for autoclaves to be calibrated every 12 months.
  • Autoclave is defined.
  • New requirement to notify the local government authority before skin penetration procedures are carried out.

Part 6 Scheduled medical conditions

  • Removal of references to AIDS, as it is no longer a category 2 condition.
  • The matters that must be considered by an authorised medical practitioner in deciding whether to make a public health order has been expanded to include whether reasonable attempts have been made to provide the person with information about the effects of the contact order condition.
  • Who may give advice to a person suffering from a Category 2 or 3 condition has been expanded.
  • The definition of relevant health practitioner now includes a person who provides public and population health services for the purposes of notifying a person who may have been in contact with a person suffering from a Category 2, 3 or 4 condition.

Part 7 Other disease control measures

  • A new exemption from pre-enrolment immunisation requirements relating to childcare facilities to allow the principal of a childcare facility to permit enrolment of a child that meets certain requirements.

Part 8 Disposal of bodies

  • The length of time a body can be kept in a hospital has been increased from 5 to 21 days.
  • The requirement to comply with the 'Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare' published by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has been removed.
  • To improve the process for registration of bodies, mortuaries are to register bodies immediately after the body is delivered to the mortuary for preparation instead of after the body is prepared.
  • The Secretary of the Ministry of Health (the Secretary) can now grant a general exemption, in addition to an individual exemption, for shallow burials (less than 900mm below the natural surface level of the soil).
  • Removal of the requirement for the Secretary to approve the material used to hermetically enclose a body when buried in a vault.
  • A cremation certificate is no longer required.
  • A relevant medical practitioner needs to provide written advice about the physical risk of cremation of the body of a deceased person.
  • A relevant medical practitioner in this context is a medical practitioner who:
    •  attended the person immediately before or during the illness terminating in the death of the person, or
    • has relevant knowledge of the dead person’s medical history.
  • Medical referees are no longer required to make an external examination of the body as a condition to issue a cremation permit, however they may conduct one if they think it is necessary.

Part 9 Miscellaneous

A new code of conduct has been prescribed for the purposes of section 100 of the Act for the provision of health services by a relevant health organisation. This new code of conduct is similar to the existing code of conduct for non-registered health practitioners.

Further advice and resources

Further resources to help affected stakeholders understand the requirements of the Act and Regulation can be found at:

Current as at: Tuesday 6 September 2022
Contact page owner: Environmental Health