Air-handling Part 2

Closed 31 Aug 2020

Opened 27 May 2020


Analysis of the consultation responses received by the DOH to the first part of this consultation 'Managing the public health risks associated with cooling towers and warm water systems in WA', determined that there was general agreement from all sectors that any approach should be risk-based and that Option C – development of new regulations was the preferred strategy. New regulations must clearly state inclusion and exclusion factors for air-handling and water systems that legislative requirements are intended to apply to.

The key focus of this review is to obtain feedback on the proposed regulation content to manage the public health risks associated with commercial air-handling (e.g. cooling towers) and warm water systems in Western Australia (WA).

Cooling towers and warm water systems can be associated with outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease or Pontiac Fever, if such systems are not maintained to particular standards.

In WA, this risk is currently managed under the Health (Air-handling and Water Systems) Regulations 1994 (Air-handling Regulations), which requires operators to maintain systems in accordance with specific Australian Standards.

The 'Air handling Discussion Paper - Part 2' details the proposed content to be included in new regulations.

It is important that you read the discussion paper prior to completing the survey. 

The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

You do not have to comment on all of the questions, and can focus on those areas that are important to you.  

You can read the survey questions here prior to completing the online survey. 

Why your views matter

With the introduction of the Public Health Act 2016 in WA, the Air-handling Regulations, which are adopted under the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911, must be reviewed and either repealed or replaced with new regulations in accordance with the new regulatory framework.

In May 2019, the discussion paper ‘Managing the public health risks associated with cooling towers and warm water systems in WA’ was released for a fourteen week comment period. Consultation results indicate that 

  • Option C – Develop new regulations to manage this public health risk with building requirements addressed by the Building Code of Australia

was the most favourable option selected by the majority of stakeholders. A second discussion paper has been developed to detail the proposed new content for regulations to continue to manage the public health risks from air-handling and water systems in WA.


What happens next

After analysis of all submissions, a determination of which option to adopt, will be made.

Feedback from this review will also be submitted to the WA Better Regulation Unit, to support the preferred option.   

Stakeholders will be emailed a summary paper. 

Please email if you have any queries.


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