Regulatory framework

States and territories, with the exclusion of VIC and WA, are now covered under the WHS Act. While the legislation is essentially the same (other than VIC and WA), the Commonwealth, states and territories all have their own respective sets of WHS laws and regulations. These laws are administered and regulated by separate regulatory authorities.

DHA is classified as a Commonwealth Government Business Enterprise, and as such is covered under Commonwealth WHS Laws. DHA contractors are covered by the relevant WHS laws of the state or territory in which the business is operating, and as such are regulated by the WHS regulator of that state or territory.

For example, if a DHA contractor is carrying out work for DHA in Sydney, the NSW WHS legislation applies to that company. In the event of an incident, WorkCover NSW would investigate the matter and determine if the company has breached the NSW WHS laws. As DHA has commissioned the work and as we have certain obligations in relation to our contractors under our Commonwealth WHS legislation, then we may be investigated by Comcare to determine if we have fulfilled our obligations under the WHS laws that apply to us.

This image shows the relationship between WHS legislation, regulations and National Codes of Practice.