Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015

Authoritative Version
Act No. 138 of 2015 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Australian Immunisation Register and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017
An Act to establish and provide for an immunisation register, and for related purposes
Administered by: Health
Registered 21 Aug 2017
Start Date 17 Aug 2017

Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015

No. 138, 2015

Compilation No. 4

Compilation date:                              17 August 2017

Includes amendments up to:            Act No. 81, 2017

Registered:                                         21 August 2017

 

About this compilation

This compilation

This is a compilation of the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015 that shows the text of the law as amended and in force on 17 August 2017 (the compilation date).

The notes at the end of this compilation (the endnotes) include information about amending laws and the amendment history of provisions of the compiled law.

Uncommenced amendments

The effect of uncommenced amendments is not shown in the text of the compiled law. Any uncommenced amendments affecting the law are accessible on the Legislation Register (www.legislation.gov.au). The details of amendments made up to, but not commenced at, the compilation date are underlined in the endnotes. For more information on any uncommenced amendments, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Application, saving and transitional provisions for provisions and amendments

If the operation of a provision or amendment of the compiled law is affected by an application, saving or transitional provision that is not included in this compilation, details are included in the endnotes.

Editorial changes

For more information about any editorial changes made in this compilation, see the endnotes.

Modifications

If the compiled law is modified by another law, the compiled law operates as modified but the modification does not amend the text of the law. Accordingly, this compilation does not show the text of the compiled law as modified. For more information on any modifications, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Self‑repealing provisions

If a provision of the compiled law has been repealed in accordance with a provision of the law, details are included in the endnotes.

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                             1

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Simplified outline of this Act.............................................................. 1

4............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 2

5............ Meaning of commercial‑in‑confidence................................................ 4

6............ Act binds the Crown........................................................................... 4

Part 2—Australian Immunisation Register                                                            5

Division 1—Simplified outline                                                                                  5

7............ Simplified outline of this Part.............................................................. 5

Division 2—Establishment, contents and purposes                                       6

8............ Establishment of the register............................................................... 6

9............ Contents of the register....................................................................... 6

10.......... Purposes of the register....................................................................... 7

Division 3—Requests about personal information in the register        9

11.......... Requests about personal information in the register............................ 9

Division 4—Payments relating to the register                                              10

12.......... Payments relating to vaccinations...................................................... 10

Division 5—Alternative constitutional bases                                                 11

13.......... Alternative constitutional bases......................................................... 11

Part 4—Dealing with protected information in the register                      12

21.......... Simplified outline of this Part............................................................ 12

22.......... Authorised dealings with protected information................................ 12

23.......... Offence relating to protected information.......................................... 14

24.......... Exception for use in good faith......................................................... 14

25.......... Exception if unaware information is commercial‑in‑confidence........ 14

26.......... Exceptions relating to the person to whom the protected information relates            14

27.......... Exception for disclosure to person who provided the information.... 15

Part 5—Other matters                                                                                                       16

28.......... Simplified outline of this Part............................................................ 16

29.......... Approved forms................................................................................ 16

30.......... Delegation......................................................................................... 16

31.......... Rules................................................................................................. 17

Endnotes                                                                                                                                    18

Endnote 1—About the endnotes                                                                            18

Endnote 2—Abbreviation key                                                                                20

Endnote 3—Legislation history                                                                             21

Endnote 4—Amendment history                                                                           22


An Act to establish and provide for an immunisation register, and for related purposes

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this Act

1 January 2016.

1 January 2016

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Simplified outline of this Act

This Act establishes a register of information about vaccinations.

The purposes of the register relate to supporting Australian vaccination programs, and vaccination matters more broadly.

Sensitive information in the register is protected.

4  Definitions

                   In this Act:

AI register means the Australian Immunisation Register.

approved form means a form approved under subsection 29(1).

arrangement includes a contract or deed.

Chief Executive Medicare has the same meaning as in the Human Services (Medicare) Act 1973.

commercial‑in‑confidence has the meaning given by section 5.

family assistance has the same meaning as in the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999.

general practitioner has the same meaning as in the Health Insurance Act 1973.

legal personal representative, of an individual, means:

                     (a)  a parent or guardian of the individual, if the individual is under the age of 18 years; or

                     (b)  a trustee of an estate of the individual, if the individual is under a legal disability; or

                     (c)  a person who holds an enduring power of attorney granted by the individual.

parent: without limiting who is a parent of anyone for the purposes of this Act, a person is the parent of another person if the other person is a child of the person within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975.

personal information has the same meaning as in the Privacy Act 1988.

prescribed body means a person prescribed by the rules for the purposes of this definition.

protected information means personal information, relevant identifying information or information that is commercial‑in‑confidence, to the extent that this information:

                     (a)  is obtained under, or in accordance with, this Act; or

                     (b)  is derived from a record of information that was made under, or in accordance with, this Act; or

                     (c)  is derived from a disclosure or use of information that was made under, or in accordance with, this Act.

purposes of the AI register means the purposes set out in section 10.

recognised vaccination provider means:

                     (a)  a general practitioner; or

                     (b)  an individual, or body, endorsed to administer vaccines in Australia, if the endorsement:

                              (i)  is for purposes that include the purposes of the AI register; and

                             (ii)  is by the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory.

relevant identifying information for an individual means the following:

                     (a)  the individual’s name, contact details, date of birth, gender and Indigenous status;

                     (b)  the individual’s medicare number (within the meaning of Part VII of the National Health Act 1953) (if any);

                     (c)  the individual’s healthcare identifier (within the meaning of the Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010) (if any);

                     (d)  the name and contact details of a legal personal representative of the individual if the individual is incapable of managing his or her health affairs;

                     (e)  any other information of a kind prescribed by the rules for the purposes of this definition that identifies the individual.

relevant vaccination means a vaccination administered:

                     (a)  in Australia; or

                     (b)  outside Australia, if information about the vaccination is given to a recognised vaccination provider.

rules means the rules made under section 31.

vaccine preventable disease means a disease listed as a vaccine preventable disease in the latest edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook published by the Government Printer.

Note:          The Handbook could in 2015 be viewed on the Department’s website (http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook10‑home).

5  Meaning of commercial‑in‑confidence

                   Information is commercial‑in‑confidence if a person demonstrates to the Minister that:

                     (a)  release of the information would cause competitive detriment to the person; and

                     (b)  the information is not in the public domain; and

                     (c)  the information is not required to be disclosed under a law of the Commonwealth, or of a State or Territory; and

                     (d)  the information is not readily discoverable.

6  Act binds the Crown

                   This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities. However, it does not make the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an offence.

Part 2Australian Immunisation Register

Division 1Simplified outline

7  Simplified outline of this Part

The Australian Immunisation Register is established to keep information about vaccinations of individuals.

The purposes of the register relate to supporting Australian vaccination programs, and vaccination matters more broadly.

Individuals can opt out from receiving certain information from the register. They can also request for their information in the register not to be disclosed for certain purposes.

Payments relating to vaccinations may be made on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Division 2Establishment, contents and purposes

8  Establishment of the register

             (1)  The Commonwealth must establish and keep a register to be called the Australian Immunisation Register.

             (2)  Parts of the register may be kept separate from each other, and be called different names.

Note:          For example, the parts of the register dealing with vaccinations given through school programs could be kept separately and be called the Australian School Vaccination Register.

             (3)  The register is not a legislative instrument.

9  Contents of the register

                   The AI register may include the following:

                     (a)  relevant identifying information for each individual who has, or could have, a relevant vaccination;

                     (b)  information provided by a recognised vaccination provider about each relevant vaccination, including:

                              (i)  the day of the vaccination; and

                             (ii)  information about the vaccine administered; and

                            (iii)  if the vaccine was administered in Australia—the name and contact details of the recognised vaccination provider who administered the vaccine; and

                            (iv)  if the vaccine was administered outside Australia—the name and contact details of the recognised vaccination provider who has been given information about the vaccination;

                     (c)  relevant identifying information for each individual who is assessed by a general practitioner, a paediatrician, a public health physician, an infectious diseases physician or a clinical immunologist as:

                              (i)  not requiring a vaccination because the individual has contracted a disease or diseases, and as a result has developed a natural immunity; or

                             (ii)  having a medical contraindication to a vaccine, and as a result should not receive a vaccination;

                     (d)  information about each of those assessments, including:

                              (i)  the day of the assessment; and

                             (ii)  information about the vaccine relevant to the assessment; and

                            (iii)  the name and contact details of the general practitioner, paediatrician, public health physician, infectious diseases physician or clinical immunologist who conducted the assessment;

                     (e)  other information relating to vaccinations of individuals.

10  Purposes of the register

             (1)  The purposes of the AI register are to facilitate the following:

                     (a)  establishing and keeping an electronic database of records relating to vaccinations of individuals;

                     (b)  collecting, analysing and publishing statistics, and other information, about vaccination coverage across Australia and parts of Australia;

                     (c)  monitoring vaccination coverage across Australia and parts of Australia;

                     (d)  monitoring the effectiveness of vaccines and vaccination programs in preventing vaccine preventable diseases;

                     (e)  identifying any parts of Australia at risk during disease outbreaks because of the number of unvaccinated individuals in those parts;

                      (f)  checking an individual’s vaccination status by that individual or by a recognised vaccination provider;

                     (g)  checking an individual’s vaccination status:

                              (i)  by (or on behalf of) the Commonwealth; and

                             (ii)  to the extent that this is necessary for determining eligibility for family assistance;

                     (h)  advising an individual when he or she is, or was, due to receive doses of a vaccine;

                      (i)  certifying when a course of vaccination has been completed;

                      (j)  promoting individuals’ health and well‑being by giving information on new developments associated with vaccinations to them and to recognised vaccination providers;

                     (k)  payments relating to vaccinations;

                      (l)  research relating to vaccinations;

                    (m)  anything incidental to any of the above paragraphs.

             (2)  For an individual who is incapable of managing his or her health affairs:

                     (a)  paragraph (1)(f) also applies to checking of the individual’s vaccination status by a legal personal representative of the individual; and

                     (b)  paragraphs (1)(h), (i) and (j) also apply to advising, or giving a certificate or information to, a legal personal representative of the individual.

Division 3Requests about personal information in the register

11  Requests about personal information in the register

             (1)  An individual may, in the approved form, request that the individual not be given by (or on behalf of) the Commonwealth:

                     (a)  any advice of a kind referred to in paragraph 10(1)(h); or

                     (b)  any certification of a kind referred to in paragraph 10(1)(i); or

                     (c)  any information of a kind referred to in paragraph 10(1)(j).

Note:          The request could be made by a legal personal representative of an individual who is incapable of managing his or her health affairs (see subsection 10(2)).

             (2)  An individual may, in the approved form, request that personal information on the AI register relating to or identifying:

                     (a)  the individual; or

                     (b)  if the individual is a legal personal representative of another individual who is incapable of managing his or her health affairs—that other individual;

not be disclosed from the AI register for one or more purposes of the AI register.

             (3)  The Commonwealth must comply with a request under this section as soon as practicable.

Division 4Payments relating to the register

12  Payments relating to vaccinations

             (1)  The Minister may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, make a payment to a recognised vaccination provider in relation to:

                     (a)  the provider’s administrative costs incurred in providing information for inclusion in the AI register; or

                     (b)  the provider:

                              (i)  identifying an individual who is overdue for a relevant vaccination; and

                             (ii)  administering the vaccination; and

                            (iii)  providing information about the vaccination for inclusion in the AI register.

             (2)  The Minister may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, make a payment:

                     (a)  for the purposes of the AI register; and

                     (b)  in circumstances of a kind prescribed by the rules for the purposes of this subsection.

Division 5Alternative constitutional bases

13  Alternative constitutional bases

             (1)  Without limiting its effect apart from this section, this Act also has the effect it would have if the purposes of the AI register were, by express provision, confined to purposes relating to:

                     (a)  the provision of pharmaceutical benefits; or

                     (b)  the provision of medical services (without any form of civil conscription); or

                     (c)  census or statistics; or

                     (d)  external affairs, including:

                              (i)  giving effect to an international agreement to which Australia is a party; or

                             (ii)  addressing matters of international concern; or

                     (e)  a Territory or a Commonwealth place (within the meaning of the Commonwealth Places (Application of Laws) Act 1970); or

                      (f)  the implied power of the Parliament to make laws with respect to nationhood; or

                     (g)  the executive power of the Commonwealth; or

                     (h)  matters incidental to the execution of any of the legislative powers of the Parliament or the executive power of the Commonwealth.

             (2)  A term used in this section and the Constitution has the same meaning in this section as it has in the Constitution.

Part 4Dealing with protected information in the register

  

21  Simplified outline of this Part

Information can be collected for inclusion in the AI register.

Section 23 makes it an offence if a person, while unauthorised to do so, discloses or uses protected information.

The main authorisation relates to disclosure or use for the purposes of the register. There are also a number of exceptions to the offence.

22  Authorised dealings with protected information

Uploading personal information etc. to the AI register

             (1)  A person may collect, make a record of, disclose or otherwise use:

                     (a)  personal information; or

                     (b)  relevant identifying information; or

                     (c)  information that is commercial‑in‑confidence;

if the person does so for the purposes of including the information in the AI register.

Note:          This subsection is an authorisation for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

Using or disclosing protected information in the AI register

             (2)  A person may make a record of, disclose or otherwise use protected information if:

                     (a)  the person does so for the purposes of the AI register, and the person is:

                              (i)  an officer or employee of the Commonwealth or of an authority of the Commonwealth; or

                             (ii)  engaged by the Commonwealth, or by an authority of the Commonwealth, to perform work relating to the purposes of the AI register; or

                            (iii)  an officer or employee of, or is engaged by, a person referred to in subparagraph (ii) to perform work relating to the purposes of the AI register; or

                            (iv)  a prescribed body; or

                             (v)  a recognised vaccination provider; or

                     (b)  the person is authorised to do so under subsection (3); or

                     (c)  the person does so for the purposes of performing the person’s functions, or exercising the person’s powers, under this Act; or

                    (ca)  the person does so for the purposes of including information in the register kept under Part 2 of the National Cancer Screening Register Act 2016; or

                     (d)  the person is required or authorised to do so by or under a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory; or

                     (e)  the person does so for the purposes of court or tribunal proceedings, or in accordance with an order of a court or tribunal; or

                      (f)  the person does so for the purposes of a coronial inquiry, or in accordance with an order of a coroner.

Note 1:       This subsection is an authorisation for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

Note 2:       Protected information is not limited to information in the register (see section 4). It can also cover information that:

(a)    is obtained as the result of a disclosure from the register, whether directly or indirectly because of one or more on‑disclosures; or

(b)    is derived from information that was in the register.

             (3)  The Minister may, in writing, authorise a person to make a record of, disclose or otherwise use protected information for a specified purpose that the Minister is satisfied is in the public interest.

             (4)  Paragraph (2)(a) does not apply to personal information to the extent that a disclosure under that paragraph would be contrary to a request in force under subsection 11(2).

23  Offence relating to protected information

                   A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person obtains information; and

                     (b)  the information is protected information; and

                     (c)  the person makes a record of, discloses or otherwise uses the information; and

                     (d)  the making of the record, or the disclosure or use, is not authorised by section 22.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

24  Exception for use in good faith

                   Section 23 does not apply to a person to the extent that the person makes a record of, discloses or otherwise uses protected information in good faith and in purported compliance with section 22.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

25  Exception if unaware information is commercial‑in‑confidence

                   Section 23 does not apply to a person if:

                     (a)  the person makes a record of, discloses or otherwise uses protected information; and

                     (b)  the information is commercial‑in‑confidence; and

                     (c)  the person does not know that the information is commercial‑in‑confidence.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

26  Exceptions relating to the person to whom the protected information relates

             (1)  Section 23 does not apply to a person if:

                     (a)  the person discloses protected information to the person to whom the information relates; or

                     (b)  the person is the person to whom the protected information relates; or

                     (c)  the making of the record, or the disclosure or use, of the protected information is in accordance with the express or implied consent of the person to whom the information relates.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

             (2)  Subsection (1) applies as if a reference in that subsection to the person to whom the protected information relates includes a reference to the person’s legal personal representative if the person is incapable of managing his or her health affairs.

27  Exception for disclosure to person who provided the information

                   Section 23 does not apply to a person if:

                     (a)  the person obtains protected information from another person; and

                     (b)  the person discloses that information to the other person.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

Part 5Other matters

  

28  Simplified outline of this Part

This Part deals with other matters, such as approved forms, delegations and rules.

29  Approved forms

             (1)  The Minister may, in writing, approve a form for the purposes of a provision of this Act.

             (2)  A request required by a provision of this Act to be in the approved form must be given to the person specified in the form for that purpose.

30  Delegation

             (1)  The Minister may, in writing, delegate his or her functions or powers under subsection 22(3) (about authorising disclosures etc.) to:

                     (a)  a person who holds or performs the duties of an SES Band 3 position, or an equivalent or higher position, in the Department; or

                     (b)  the Chief Executive Medicare.

             (2)  The Minister may, in writing, delegate his or her functions or powers under:

                     (a)  section 5 (about commercial‑in‑confidence information); or

                     (b)  section 12 (about payments relating to vaccinations); or

                     (c)  section 29 (about approved forms);

to an SES employee, or an acting SES employee, in the Department or to the Chief Executive Medicare.

             (3)  In performing a function, or exercising a power, under a delegation, the delegate must comply with any directions of the Minister.

31  Rules

             (1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make rules prescribing matters:

                     (a)  required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed by the rules; or

                     (b)  necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, the rules may not do the following:

                     (a)  create an offence or civil penalty;

                     (b)  provide powers of:

                              (i)  arrest or detention; or

                             (ii)  entry, search or seizure;

                     (c)  impose a tax;

                     (d)  set an amount to be appropriated from the Consolidated Revenue Fund under an appropriation in this Act;

                     (e)  directly amend the text of this Act.


Endnotes

Endnote 1—About the endnotes

The endnotes provide information about this compilation and the compiled law.

The following endnotes are included in every compilation:

Endnote 1—About the endnotes

Endnote 2—Abbreviation key

Endnote 3—Legislation history

Endnote 4—Amendment history

Abbreviation key—Endnote 2

The abbreviation key sets out abbreviations that may be used in the endnotes.

Legislation history and amendment history—Endnotes 3 and 4

Amending laws are annotated in the legislation history and amendment history.

The legislation history in endnote 3 provides information about each law that has amended (or will amend) the compiled law. The information includes commencement details for amending laws and details of any application, saving or transitional provisions that are not included in this compilation.

The amendment history in endnote 4 provides information about amendments at the provision (generally section or equivalent) level. It also includes information about any provision of the compiled law that has been repealed in accordance with a provision of the law.

Editorial changes

The Legislation Act 2003 authorises First Parliamentary Counsel to make editorial and presentational changes to a compiled law in preparing a compilation of the law for registration. The changes must not change the effect of the law. Editorial changes take effect from the compilation registration date.

If the compilation includes editorial changes, the endnotes include a brief outline of the changes in general terms. Full details of any changes can be obtained from the Office of Parliamentary Counsel.

Misdescribed amendments

A misdescribed amendment is an amendment that does not accurately describe the amendment to be made. If, despite the misdescription, the amendment can be given effect as intended, the amendment is incorporated into the compiled law and the abbreviation “(md)” added to the details of the amendment included in the amendment history.

If a misdescribed amendment cannot be given effect as intended, the abbreviation “(md not incorp)” is added to the details of the amendment included in the amendment history.

 

Endnote 2—Abbreviation key

 

ad = added or inserted

o = order(s)

am = amended

Ord = Ordinance

amdt = amendment

orig = original

c = clause(s)

par = paragraph(s)/subparagraph(s)

C[x] = Compilation No. x

    /sub‑subparagraph(s)

Ch = Chapter(s)

pres = present

def = definition(s)

prev = previous

Dict = Dictionary

(prev…) = previously

disallowed = disallowed by Parliament

Pt = Part(s)

Div = Division(s)

r = regulation(s)/rule(s)

ed = editorial change

reloc = relocated

exp = expires/expired or ceases/ceased to have

renum = renumbered

    effect

rep = repealed

F = Federal Register of Legislation

rs = repealed and substituted

gaz = gazette

s = section(s)/subsection(s)

LA = Legislation Act 2003

Sch = Schedule(s)

LIA = Legislative Instruments Act 2003

Sdiv = Subdivision(s)

(md) = misdescribed amendment can be given

SLI = Select Legislative Instrument

    effect

SR = Statutory Rules

(md not incorp) = misdescribed amendment

Sub‑Ch = Sub‑Chapter(s)

    cannot be given effect

SubPt = Subpart(s)

mod = modified/modification

underlining = whole or part not

No. = Number(s)

    commenced or to be commenced

 

Endnote 3—Legislation history

 

Act

Number and year

Assent

Commencement

Application, saving and transitional provisions

Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015

138, 2015

12 Nov 2015

1 Jan 2016 (s 2(1) item 1)

 

Australian Immunisation Register (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2015

139, 2015

12 Nov 2015

Sch 2 (items 1–33): 30 Sept 2016 (s 2(1) item 3)
Sch 3 (items 1–3): 1 Jan 2017 (s 2(1) item 4)

National Cancer Screening Register (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2016

66, 2016

20 Oct 2016

Sch 1 (items 1, 4–6): 21 Oct 2016 (s 2(1) item 2)

Sch 1 (items 4–6)

Australian Immunisation Register and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017

81, 2017

16 Aug 2017

Sch 1: 17 Aug 2017 (s 2(1) item 1)

Sch 1 (item 4)

 

Endnote 4—Amendment history

 

Provision affected

How affected

Part 1

 

s 3........................................

rs No 139, 2015

s 4........................................

am No 139, 2015

Part 2

 

Part 2 heading......................

rs No 139, 2015

Division 1

 

s 7........................................

rs No 139, 2015

Division 2

 

s 8........................................

am No 139, 2015

s 9........................................

am No 139, 2015; No 81, 2017

s 10......................................

am No 139, 2015

Division 3

 

s 11......................................

am No 139, 2015

Division 4

 

s 12......................................

am No 139, 2015

Division 5

 

s 13......................................

am No 139, 2015

Part 4

 

s 21......................................

am No 139, 2015

s 22......................................

am No 139, 2015; No 66, 2016

s 26......................................

am No 139, 2015