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WA acts and regulations

The Parliamentary Counsel’s Office (PCO) holds all Western Australian legislation and subsidiary legislation (including regulations, by-laws et cetera). The PCO is operated by the Department of Justice and is responsible for publishing and disseminating legislation and other statutory information on behalf of Parliament and government, ensuring that access is provided for the people of Western Australia.

What is legislation?

Legislation consists of acts of Parliament or delegated legislation made under acts of Parliament. Legislation can also refer to a single law (statute) or a collection of laws. Members of Parliament make laws and are therefore legislators, with the Parliament known as the legislature.

Act

A bill (proposed law) becomes an act of Parliament when it passes through both houses of Parliament and is assented to by the Governor. Many acts of Parliament amend or repeal existing laws.

An act includes provisions which contain statements and rules which give effect to a particular policy. The implementation of the act is the task of the departments and agencies of the government. Ministers and the cabinet, collectively known as the executive, are responsible to Parliament for implementation. 

The effect of an act depends on the interpretation of its provisions. This role is undertaken by the courts, also known as the judiciary.

Regulations

In any act, Parliament may delegate authority to executive government (administered by government departments) or local government to make delegated legislation to support the act. Regulations are a form of delegated legislation. Examples include local laws, by-laws, rules, ordinances and orders-in-Council. Collectively, these forms of delegated legislation are also termed subordinate legislation, secondary legislation, statutory rules, legislative instruments, statutory instruments and subsidiary legislation. The ability of Parliament to delegate lawmaking powers concerning the administration of acts enables Parliament to pass legislation on a broader range of matters.

The Parliament applies the term delegated legislation. Review of these laws is undertaken by the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation to ensure compliance with the empowering act(s) and the committee’s terms of reference. The committee can recommend that the Parliament disallow delegated legislation. If the Parliament does disallow delegated legislation, that legislation will have no effect as at the date of disallowance.

The PCO apply the term subsidiary legislation on its Western Australian Legislation Database.