Explosives laws and the Explosives Inspectorate

Queensland legislation defines an explosive as a substance (or a thing containing a substance) that's manufactured or used to produce a practical effect by explosion or a pyrotechnic effect.

This can include any substance declared under a regulation to be an explosive.

Explosives legislation

In Queensland, explosives are regulated subject to the:

The Explosives Inspectorate enforces this legislation in accordance with its compliance policy (PDF, 390KB).

Before starting any activity involving explosives, make sure you have the appropriate licences and permits.

Explosives exempt from legislation

Explosives are exempt from the Explosives Act if they're used as ingredients in a mixture not intended to be exploded (e.g. nitroglycerine in a tablet for medication, or nitrocellulose in paint or nail polish).

The Explosives Act 1999 (Qld) doesn't apply to military explosives that are captured by the Explosives Act 1961 (Cwlth).

Role of the Queensland Explosives Inspectorate

The Queensland Explosives Inspectorate is a business unit within the Queensland Government. The inspectorate is responsible for safety and security in the explosives and fireworks industries. It works closely with industry and the community to ensure the safety of people working in these industries and the general public.

The Annual compliance plan for Queensland mineral and energy resources (2016-2017) (PDF, 255KB) details engagement and compliance activities that we plan to undertake in relation to relevant mineral and energy resources legislation.

The Chief Inspector of Explosives is a statutory position under the Explosives Act 1999 (Qld). The Chief Inspector has powers under the Explosives Act, including authorising, or approving for trial, explosives in Queensland.

The Chief Inspector of Explosives also authorises fireworks.

Explosives inspectors:

  • enforce the explosives legislation
  • monitor the safety and security of explosives licence holders
  • inspect and audit explosives licence holders to assess whether risk is at an acceptable level
  • monitor, inspect and audit licence holders for the handling of explosives
  • provide advice and information on how people can comply with legislation
  • check safety and security management systems and procedures to control risk to people affected by, or exposed to, explosives
  • provide advice and help during emergencies to protect life, property and the environment
  • help ensure timely corrective or remedial action is being taken once a dangerous condition has been identified
  • investigate explosives incidents
  • investigate explosives matters that affect the successful management of risk to people, property or the environment, or to the security of explosives
  • investigate complaints about safety or security matters resulting from licence holder activities
  • advise the Chief Inspector of Explosives on safety and security for explosives activities
  • make recommendations about prosecutions and other compliance actions under the legislation
  • make recommendations about the approval of licences and permits.

The Explosives Inspectorate also:

  • processes and approves explosives licence applications
  • offers storage and disposal facilities for commercial explosives (through the government explosives magazines)
  • collects and disposes of commercial explosives.

Contact the Explosives Inspectorate with any queries.

Mine Safety and Health performance accountability framework

The Mine Safety and Health performance accountability framework aims to improve the accountability and transparency of how we operate through the public reporting of our performance.