Australian privacy laws
The Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 applies to federal government bodies and private health service providers. States and territories, other than South Australia and Western Australia, also have Acts dealing with the protection of health information. In South Australia, Cabinet has issued Information Privacy Principles which apply to government agencies. Every jurisdiction now has a dedicated commissioner, ombudsman or committee to handle complaints relating to breaches of privacy, as do registration boards and health complaints agencies. Generally speaking, federal and state laws are consistent; however, the lack of a national scheme has been identified as a matter requiring reform.
National Australian Information Commissioner Privacy Act 1988 ACT ACT Human Rights Commission Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997 NSW Information and Privacy Commission NSW Health and Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 NT Office of the Information Commissioner Northern Territory Health and Community Services Complaints Commission Information Act 2002 QLD The Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland – may refer privacy complaint to Health Ombudsman Information privacy Act 2009 – Must comply with National Privacy Principles SA South Australian Privacy Committee Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner PC012 Information Privacy Principles (IPPS) Instructions TAS Tasmanian Ombudsman Personal Information and Protection Act 2004 VIC Health Complaints Commissioner Health Records Act 2001 WA Office of the Information Commissioner – Only FOI requests Health and Disability Services Complaints Office Freedom of Information Act 1992
The Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland – may refer privacy complaint to Health Ombudsman
Information Privacy Act 2009 – Must comply with National Privacy Principles
Office of the Information Commissioner – Only FOI requests
Page last updated April 2021