Emergency health management laws, regulations and plans

Learn about the laws, regulations and agreements that govern emergency health management in Australia and our emergency management plans.

Laws and regulations

Several laws support emergency health management in Australia.

Biosecurity Act 2015

The Biosecurity Act 2015 is about managing diseases and pests that may cause harm to human, animal or plant health, or the environment.

We administer the human health aspects of this Act, which are usually related to quarantine or managing Australia’s inbound or outbound travellers. Learn more on our travel health page.

National Health Security Act 2007

The National Health Security Act 2007 sets out a national system of public health surveillance to help identify and respond to public health events of national significance. These include:

  • communicable diseases outbreaks
  • releases of certain chemical, biological or radiological agents
  • public health risks
  • overseas mass casualty events.

It allows us to share information with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries, as needed, and implements the International Health Regulations (2005) in Australia.

This Act is also the basis for the:

National Health Security Regulations 2018

The National Health Security Regulations 2018 sets up the national register for security-sensitive biological agents (SSBAs) such as:

  • viruses
  • bacteria
  • fungi
  • toxins.

Learn more about the SSBA Regulatory Scheme and how we protect human health, the environment and the Australian economy from the effects of these harmful biological agents.

Emergency management plans

We have several emergency management plans that cover both domestic and international health emergencies. These include the National Health Emergency Response Arrangements and its supporting plans:

Learn more about what we’re doing about emergency health management in Australia.

Date last updated:

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