Australian Government - Department of Health and Aged Care - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program

Thematic Review of Commonwealth Hearing Services Legislation

The Department of Health is undertaking a thematic review (the review) of the Commonwealth’s hearing services legislation and is seeking input from stakeholders.

The Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program) is underpinned by two Acts – the Hearing Services Administration Act 1997 and the Australian Hearing Services Act 1991. Each of these Acts is supported by legislative instruments that set out the details of the program.

A number of years ago the Government introduced sun-setting arrangements for legislative instruments such that they automatically cease to apply, unless an active decision has been made to retain them. The aim of the arrangements is to ensure that legislative instruments are kept up to date and only remain in force so long as they are needed.

The Attorney General has agreed that before sun-setting the legislative instruments made under the hearing services legislation, a thematic review of the instruments should be undertaken. The purpose of the review is to consider whether the hearing services instruments (as detailed at Attachment A) are fit-for-purpose, and whether they can be simplified and streamlined such that they are clearer and do not impose unnecessary regulatory burden.

For example, the review will consider whether

  • any provisions in the legislation are redundant
  • any instruments can be consolidated to make the law easier to understand
  • there is any duplication or inconsistency with the service provider contracts and/or the manufacturer’s Deed of Standing Offer
  • the instruments overcomplicate processes for service providers, device suppliers or consumers, and/or
  • the legislation is ambiguous or unclear regarding any terms and/or processes.

While hearing stakeholder have been engaged recently on similar matters such as the PricewaterhouseCoopers review of services and technology supply in the program and the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport inquiry into hearing health, it is important to note that this review will not examine major policy or funding issues relating to the program.

If you wish to provide input, some questions are provided at Attachment B to assist your consideration of the issues relevant to the review. 

Your continued support is appreciated. For further information and to provide feedback please email

Please provide feedback by 25 May 2018.

Thematic Review Attachment A - List of Legislation

Thematic Review Attachment B - Questions for Hearing Services stakeholders

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