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Feature story: Nationally consistent explosives framework

Each jurisdiction in Australia has its own system for regulating explosives.

Following a COAG directive in 2012, Safe Work Australia, through its SIG-Explosives, progressed reforms to provide greater national consistency in explosives laws across Australia.

The outcome of this work was a package of policy proposals which make recommendations to achieve national consistency in four key areas of explosives regulation: the definition of explosives, the explosives authorisation process, notification processes, and the licensing framework.

In late 2018, WHS ministers provided in-principle agreement to consider implementing the explosives reforms in their respective jurisdictions. This is an important milestone in moving towards national consistency in explosives regulation and improving the operating environment for businesses within the explosives industry.

Implementation of the reforms is the responsibility of the jurisdictions.

Timeline for process of nationally consistent regulating explosives. Oct 2016 WHS ministers agree to Decision RIS and progressing nationally consistent approaches to four key explosives reform areas. Dec 2016–Aug 2017 SIG-Explosives met to finalise policy proposals for the four reform areas. Dec 2017 SWA Members agreed to progress policy proposals to WHS ministers. Nov 2018 WHS ministers agreed to consider explosives reforms for implementation in jurisdictional explosives laws.