Most Acts include a power for the government, or occasionally another authority, to make one or more types of legislative instrument (also known as 'subordinate legislation').

The legislative instruments on this site include:

Most Acts include a provision that creates a general regulation making power.

Regulations are useful because they allow details to be regulated after an Act has been passed by Parliament.

This allows more time and attention to detail to be taken with the regulations than might have been possible before an Act was enacted by Parliament, and gives the executive branch of the government the flexibility to adjust regulations if circumstances change.

Regulations must:

  • be within the limits of their Act’s regulation making power
  • comply with any requirements in their Act, such as a requirement for consultation with specified people or groups
  • be consistent with the purpose and intent of their Act
  • not confer discretionary power unless this is allowed by their Act.

Regulations may be challenged within the courts for a variety of reasons, including:

  • repugnance to the common law
  • being unreasonably oppressive or unjust
  • being uncertain
  • being for an improper purpose.

Making and commencement of regulations

All regulations are published in the South Australian Government Gazette on the day on which they are made in Executive Council.

The Subordinate Legislation Act 1978 governs the commencement of regulations.

Some regulations commence operation on the day on which they're made, and some commence operation on a later date.

If regulations do not include a commencement date they will come into operation 4 months after the day on which they are made. However, regulations may also specify a commencement date that:

  • is more than 4 months after the day on which they are made
  • is earlier than 4 months after the day on which they are made if the Minister responsible the Act the regulations are made under certifies it is necessary or appropriate for that to happen.

The date for the commencement of a set of regulations may also be linked to the commencement of an Act or a provision of an Act.

Disallowance of regulations

Parliament has processes for the review of regulations after they are made and, if issues are identified, regulations may be disallowed by either House of Parliament.

Expiry of regulations

Certain regulations expire on 1 September of the year following the year in which the 10th anniversary of the day on which the regulations were made falls unless their expiry is postponed.

For more information see Regulations expiry program.

Revocation of regulations

A regulation may be explicitly revoked by an Act or another set of regulations.

However, a regulation may also be ‘impliedly revoked’ if the Act under which it was made is repealed or the section of the Act under which it was made is repealed and not replaced with a similar provision.

New proclamations or notices are often required before an Act commences. Some are also required regularly as part of the day-to-day operation of government.

A proclamation or notice is limited to the matters allowed by the Act under which it is made. However, some provisions consider the use of proclamations or notices for dealing with substantive matters in a creative manner.

It is important to note that, while regulations, rules and by-laws can always be varied or revoked (see section 39 Acts Interpretation Act 1915), proclamations and notices cannot unless the Act under which they are made expressly permits it.

Proclamations must be issued by the Governor in Executive Council.

Commencement of proclamations and notices

The majority of proclamations and notices take effect on the day on which they are made.

A future date may also be chosen from time to time, especially with commencement proclamations.

Some proclamations may have other requirements, such as needing a resolution of both Houses of Parliament.

The processes that local councils, hospitals, universities and other bodies follow to create rules and by-laws are detailed in specific pieces of legislation applying to those bodies.

Policies under the Aquaculture Act 2001 and the Environment Protection Act 1993 are a special form of subordinate legislation provided for in those Acts.

Those Acts set out the procedure for making, amending and revoking policies.