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New WA Privacy and Responsible Information Sharing laws

Community Feedback Sought on Proposed Legislation

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The Western Australian government is inviting community feedback on the states proposed Privacy and Responsible Information Sharing legislation.

The WA Government is proposing to introduce a whole-of-government framework to meet the twin priorities of protecting Western Australians’ privacy and enabling information to be safely used for their benefit. 

Under the proposed legislation, individuals will get more control over their privacy, better planning and delivery of public services and streamlined interactions with public sector agencies.

WA is one of only two Australian jurisdictions without privacy legislation, putting individuals and the State at considerable disadvantage. Currently, a person who believes their information has been incorrectly handled or shared has no clear pathway for complaint and resolution.  

WA also does not have a clear, overarching information-sharing framework, meaning members of the public have to provide the same information to multiple public agencies when updating simple details like change of address, and government departments are not making the best use of their combined knowledge when delivering public services.

To protect the privacy rights of individuals, the McGowan Government also proposes to appoint a WA Privacy Commissioner.

A number of recent government reviews have recommended improved privacy protections and information sharing in government, including the 2016 Data Linkage Review undertaken by Professor Fiona Stanley, the Chief Scientist of WA Peter Klinken, and the former Government Chief Information Officer.

The consultation period will run until the end of October with written submissions due by Friday November 1, 2019. For more information, visit https://www.wa.gov.au/privacyproject