Predominantly, legislation in most States/Territories makes it an offence to sell N&S unless it is part of your professional role (ie. a pharmacist or doctor), or that you (or your organisation), has been "authorised" under relevant legislation to distribute N&S.

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
Queensland
South Australia
Tasmania
Victoria
Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Legislation and policies/guidelines

Drugs of Dependence Act 1989

Summary of requirements

"syringe" includes the needle section or the plunger section of a syringe.

s86 Distribution of syringes—approval

(1) A doctor, pharmacist, nurse or health worker may apply to the chief health officer for approval to supply syringes.

(3) If, on an application in accordance with this section, the chief health officer is satisfied that—Top of page
  1. having regard to—

    1. the desirability of preventing the spread of disease; and

    2. the number of approved persons;

      there is a need for an additional person to be approved; and

  2. the applicant has attended a course of instruction; and

  3. the applicant is a fit and proper person to be approved;

    the chief health officer shall grant an approval to the applicant.the chief health officer shall grant an approval to the applicant.
(4) An approval shall specify—
  1. the full name and address of the approved person; and

  2. the capacity in which the person is approved; and

  3. an identifying number; and

  4. the period for which the approval is granted.
(5) An approval granted to a health worker may be made subject to the condition that the health worker attend a further course of instruction.

Division 7.2 Supply of syringes by vending machine

"approved person" means a person who holds a current vending machine approval.

"vending machine" means any machine or mechanical device used or able to be used for selling or supplying syringes without the personal manipulation or attention of the seller or supplier, or the seller's or supplier's employee or agent, at the time of the sale or supply.

s94B Application for vending machine approval

A person may apply in writing to the chief health officer for approval to supply syringes by way of vending machine.

s94E Vending machine approval—conditions
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New South Wales

Legislation and policies/guidelines

Drug Misuse and Trafficking Regulation 2000

Summary of requirements

"approved needle exchange program" means a program approved by the Director-General of the Department of Health, as referred to in clause 4.

s4 Approval by Director-General of Health of needle exchange programs
  1. The Director-General of the Department of Health may authorise a specified person or specified class of persons to participate in a program approved by the Director-General to facilitate:
    1. the supply to intravenous drug users of sterile hypodermic syringes and sterile hypodermic needles, and any associated equipment, to prevent the spread of contagious disease and minimise health risks associated with intravenous drug use, and
s7 General exemption for pharmacists and staff

A pharmacist acting in the ordinary course of his or her profession, and any person acting under the supervision of the pharmacist, is exempt from the provisions of sections 11, 19 and 20 of the Act, to the extent necessary to authorise the pharmacist or person:
  1. to have in his or her possession, and to distribute, hypodermic syringes and hypodermic needles, and any associated equipment, for use in the administration of a prohibited drug capable of being so administered

Northern Territory

Legislation and policies/guidelines

Misuse of Drugs Act

Summary of requirements

s12 (2) A person, other than a medical practitioner, a pharmacist or a member of a class of persons authorized so to do by the Minister who supplies a hypodermic syringe or needle to another person, whether or not the other person is in the Territory, for use in the administration of a dangerous drug to that or another person is guilty of an offence. Penalty: $2,000 or imprisonment for 2 years.
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Queensland

Legislation and policies/guidelines

Criminal Code

Drug Misuse Act 1986

Summary of requirements

s280(4) A person must not supply a needle to anyone for use in connection with the administration of a dangerous drug, whether the other person is in Queensland or elsewhere.

s280(5) Subsection (4) does not apply to the supply of a needle by a doctor, pharmacist or authorised person.

s10 (3) A person (other than a medical practitioner, pharmacist or person or member of a class of persons authorised to do by the Minister administering the Health Act 1937) who supplies a hypodermic syringe or needle to another, whether or not such other person is in Queensland, for use in connection with the administration of a dangerous drug commits and offence against this Act

South Australia

Legislation and policies/guidelines

Controlled Substances (Exemptions) Regulations 2004

Summary of requirements

s5 Exemption from aiding and abetting etc
  1. Section 41 of the Act does not prevent the sale or supply of syringes or needles or the giving of advice or instruction on the safe use of syringes or needles by

    1. a medical practitioner; or

    2. a pharmacist; or

    3. a nurse acting in the course of a health risk minimisation program; or

    4. a person licensed to be in possession of syringes and needles under section 31(3)(d) of the Act acting in the course of a health risk minimisation program and in accordance with the conditions of the licence.
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Tasmania

Legislation and policies/guidelines

HIV/AIDS Preventive Measures Act 1993

Summary of requirements

s25. (1) A person who is not the holder of a permit must not supply a syringe or needle to another person for the purpose of administering –
  1. a controlled substance; or

  2. a narcotic substance or raw narcotic that is not a controlled substance.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to –
  1. the supply and use of syringes and needles for lawful medical purposes or veterinary treatment purposes; and

  2. a person authorized under section 26(6) to supply syringes and needles.
s26. (1) A medical practitioner, pharmacist, nurse or needle exchange officer may apply to the Secretary for a permit to supply syringes and needles.
(2) An application is to –
  1. be in writing; and

  2. state the full name and business and private address of the applicant; and

  3. set out details of the applicant's occupation or business.
(3) If satisfied that an applicant is an appropriate person to participate in a needle exchange programme, the Secretary may grant the application and issue a permit for such period as the Secretary determines.

(4) A permit may be issued subject to such conditions and for such purposes as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(6) The holder of a permit may authorize an employee or other person working for the holder of a permit to supply a syringe or needle in accordance with this part.
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Victoria

Legislation and policies/guidelines

Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981

Summary of requirements

s80(5) A person who sells or supplies a hypodermic needle or a syringe is not guilty of an offence under this section by reason only of that sale or supply— (a) if the person is, or is engaged or employed by, a pharmacist and the sale or supply is made in the course of the lawful practice of a pharmacist; or (b) if the sale or supply is by a specified person or organisation or specified class of persons or organisations in specified circumstances as authorised by Order in council published in the Government Gazette.

Western Australia

Legislation and policies/guidelines

Poisons Act 1964

Poisons Regulations 1965

Summary of requirements

"needle and syringe programme" means a programme to do one or more of the following:
  1. to supply persons with sterile hypodermic syringes or sterile hypodermic needles;

  2. to facilitate the safe disposal of used hypodermic syringes or used hypodermic needles; or

  3. to advise, counsel or disseminate information to persons, principally for the purpose of preventing the spread of bloodborne infectious diseases;
s36A. Defence for persons participating in the conduct of needle and syringe programmes

It is a defence in proceedings for an offence against section 36 of this Act or section 6(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 for the person charged to prove that the offence occurred by reason only of the personTop of page
  1. supplying any other person with a sterile hypodermic syringe or a sterile hypodermic needle;

  2. doing any act or thing to facilitate the safe disposal of a used hypodermic syringe or a used hypodermic needle; or

  3. advising, counselling or disseminating information to any other person, in the course of the conduct of a needle and syringe programme approved by the Commissioner of Health.

s64. Regulations

(2) Without limiting the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (1), the Governor may make regulations for or with respect to

(sb) needle and syringe programmes including conditions and requirements relating to the approval and conduct of such programmes

s12A provides for the approval of a needle and syringe program and requires application to be made on the Form 14 specified in Appendix A of these Regulations.