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, 641KB).

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 1999 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 identified in the Explosives Act 1961 (Cwlth).

Role of the Inspectorate

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

The Explosives Inspectorate also:

  • processes and issues explosives security clearances
  • 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. You can also view monthly reports on the explosives licences issued by the Explosives Inspectorate.

Chief Inspector of Explosives

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.

Explosives inspectors

Explosives inspectors:

  • enforce the explosives legislation
  • monitor, inspect and audit licence holders for all activities related to explosives
  • inspect and audit explosives licence holders to assess whether hazards and risk are at acceptable levels
  • provide advice and information on how to comply with explosives legislation
  • check safety and security management systems and procedures to control risk to people affected by, or exposed to, explosives
  • provide advice and assistance during emergencies related to explosives to protect life, property and the environment
  • help ensure timely corrective or remedial action is being taken once a dangerous situation related to explosives has been identified
  • investigate explosives incidents
  • investigate explosives matters that affect the successful management of risk to people, property and/or the environment, or to the security of explosives
  • investigate complaints about safety or security matters resulting from licence holder activities
  • make recommendations about compliance actions, and potentially prosecution, in relation to the legislation
  • make recommendations about the approval of licences and permits.

Authorised officers

Authorised officers:

  • investigate and enforce compliance with the Explosives Act 1999
  • inspect and monitor the handling of, and access to, explosives by holders of authorities and other persons
  • give advice about the handling of, and access to, explosives to protect public safety, property and the environment
  • recover and dispose of explosives to protect public health and safety
  • make recommendations to the chief inspector about
    • applications for security clearances and authorities
    • the investigation and enforcement of compliance with the Explosives Act 1999
    • other matters about explosives as required by the Chief Inspector.

Resources Safety and Health performance accountability framework

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