Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Attorney General; Minister for Electoral Affairs

Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and the Digital Economy; Medical Research; Volunteering

    New privacy laws to protect the personal data of Western Australians

    14/12/2022 3:40 PM
    • New role of Privacy Commissioner to protect the rights of Western Australians
    • Introduction of mandatory data breach notification scheme
    • New Chief Data Officer to promote culture of transparency and safe use of Government-held data

    New laws will ensure Western Australians will have more control over their personal data, and improve the delivery of Government services.


    The McGowan Government is drafting landmark legislation to reform personal privacy protections and the accountability of information sharing within Government.


    In 2019, the Government commenced an extensive consultation process to develop a fit-for-purpose legislative model that is right for WA.


    The new legislation will establish the new position of Privacy Commissioner, to protect the rights of Western Australians. Currently, individuals who believe their personal data has been incorrectly handled or shared have no clear pathway for complaint and resolution.


    A new mandatory data breach scheme will be implemented, requiring Government agencies to notify the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals of serious data breaches - including breaches affecting personal information.


    The creation of responsible information sharing laws will unlock opportunities for Government and researchers seeking better outcomes in fields including health, education, and planning.


    The McGowan Government undertook information sessions and targeted consultation with the general public, community services organisations, health researchers, privacy experts, Aboriginal people and representative organisations, industry, and the WA public sector.


    A summary report detailing the consultation process, and a fact sheet regarding the new legislation is available at https://www.wa.gov.au/government/privacy-and-responsible-information-sharing.


    Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:


    "The Western Australian public is keener than ever to see their personal information handled safely and responsibly.


    "After consulting extensively, we are confident our privacy reforms will be at the forefront of privacy protections nationally.


    "A Privacy Commissioner with enforceable powers to resolve complaints and a mandatory data breach notification scheme are befitting of modern Western Australia. I look forward to this once-in-a-generation reform being introduced in due course."


    Comments attributed to Innovation and the Digital Economy Minister Stephen Dawson:


    "In an increasingly data-driven world, there is great opportunity for the Government to responsibly use data to deliver more effective, efficient, and seamless services to better support the Western Australian community.


    "The new laws will enable data sharing for the 'right reasons' - including better Government policy making and service delivery, to protect our citizens in emergency situations, and for health and medical research.


    "This model has been informed by best practice across Australia and around the world and reflects and balances the needs and concerns of the WA community and WA public sector agencies."


    Media contacts:

    Attorney General's office - 6552 6800

    Innovation and the Digital Economy Minister's office - 6552 5800