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A statutory authority is a body set up by law which is authorised to enact legislation on behalf of the relevant country or state. They are typically found in countries which are governed by a British style of parliamentary democracy such as the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries like Australia, Canada, India and New Zealand. They are also found in Israel and elsewhere. Statutory authorities may also be statutory corporations, if created as a body corporate.



Federal statutory authorities are established under the PGPA Act 2013.[1] "A statutory authority is a generic term for an authorisation by Parliament given to a person or group of people to exercise specific powers. A statutory authority can be established as a corporate Commonwealth entity or a non-corporate Commonwealth entity. A statutory authority may also be a body within a Commonwealth entity, exercising the powers given by Parliament but administratively part of the entity."[2]

A statutory corporation is defined in the government glossary as a "statutory body that is a body corporate, including an entity created under section 87 of the PGPA Act" (i.e. a statutory authority may be a statutory corporation).[3] An earlier definition describes a statutory corporation as "a statutory authority that is a body corporate",[4] and the New South Wales Government's Land Registry Services defines a state-owned corporation as "a statutory authority that has corporate status".[5]

Statutory authorities at the State or Territory level are established under corresponding State or Territory laws. Each statutory authority tends to have its own enabling legislation, or originating act, even if it was established before the relevant over-riding legislation. For example, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was established in 1949 by the Science and Industry Research Act, but it has since come under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 as legislation covering statutory authorities has evolved.

Laws made by statutory authorities are usually referred to as regulations. They are not cited in the same fashion as an act of parliament, but usually with specific initials (depending on the authority) and a number.

Just as with laws enacted by Parliament, all laws made by a statutory authority must be published in the Government Gazette.


The Parliament of Australia, or a State or Territory Parliament, will delegate its authority to a statutory authority for several reasons;

Statutory authorities in Australia

The power to enact legislation has been delegated by Australian Parliaments (State and/or Federal) in the following areas;

See also


  1. ^ "PGPA Act". Australian Government. Dept of Finance. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Types of governance structures". Australian Government. Dept of Finance. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Resource Management glossary - Statutory Corporation". Australian Government. Dept of Finance. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  4. ^ Australian Government. Dept of Finance (1 October 2009). List of Australian Government Bodies and Governance Relationships (PDF). Financial Management Reference no.1 (3rd ed.). p. 637. ISBN 9780980543520.
  5. ^ "Statutory bodies". NSW Land Registry Services. Retrieved 3 August 2019.

Further reading