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Major Hazard Facilities regulation

All Major Hazard Facilities are to be licensed and facilities with greater than 10 per cent of Schedule 15 chemicals must notify Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

Because of the nature of chemicals stored at Major Hazard Facilities (MHF), the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (WHS Regulation) requires:

  • all Major Hazard Facilities are to be licensed and jurisdictions have the ability to charge fees for issuing licenses
  • facilities with greater than 10% of Schedule 15 chemicals must notify the regulator and be subject to an inquiry process to determine whether they should be an MHF
  • an operator of a Major Hazard Facility to identify security arrangements to prevent unauthorised access as part of their safety case regime and inform and consult with:
    • the local council and local community both generally about their operations and in the event of a major incident
    • the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service in relation to the preparation and review of emergency plans.

Regulating Major Hazard Facilities

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland regulates MHFs in accordance with the WHS Regulation and the nationally endorsed key principles for MHF regulation.

The legislation has been designed to protect people and property from major incidents by enacting a safety case regime similar in principle to that enacted in Europe and the UK via Seveso II.

Licences for Major Hazard Facilities

Operators of Major Hazard Facilities are granted licences of up to five years if the regulator is satisfied that the facility is able to operate safely, and the safety management system shall control the risk.

Obtaining a licence for a determined Major Hazard Facility

Determined facilities have up to 24 months to apply for a licence. In this time they must comply with all parts of the chapter 7: Hazardous Chemicals of the WHS Regulation, and provide a safety case outline within three months of becoming determined. They must comply with the approved safety case outline and comply with Part 9.3 Duties of operators of determined Major Hazard Facilities.

Fees

SectionApplication typeFee*
$
Licences for major hazard facilities
17Application for major hazard facility licence (s 578(3))nil
18Relevant fee for grant of major hazard facility licence, for each year as provided under section 583A(a)—
(i) for a tier 1 major hazard facility19,180.00
(ii) for a tier 2 major hazard facility35,180.00
(iii) for a tier 3 major hazard facility51,170.00
18Relevant fee for renewal of major hazard facility licence, for each year as provided under section 583A(b)—
(i) for a tier 1 major hazard facility19,180.00
(ii) for a tier 2 major hazard facility35,180.00
(iii) for a tier 3 major hazard facility51,170.00
20Application for replacement of major hazard facility licence document (s 594(4)(c)nil
21Application for renewal of major hazard facility licence (s 596(2)(c))nil
22Application for transfer of major hazard facility licence (s 600(2)(b))nil
23Application to cancel major hazard facility licence (s 601(2)(b))nil
*Fee amounts as at 1 September 2020. GST does not apply to these fees.