1. Water Rating
  2. Inspections and enforcement
  3. Our approach to compliance

Our approach to compliance

​​​​​​​​​​​The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme helps consumers make decisions that reduce their water use and save them money.

Your compliance is vital to maintaining consumer confidence in the credibility and reliability of the WELS scheme.

Our role is to educate and inform, to maintain compliance and enforce the requirements of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005 and related legislation.

Areas we focus on

The WELS Regulator has identified the following key areas where compliance and enforcement is critical:

We support you to meet these requirements through this website, as part of our inspections of your business, and in response to your enquiries. You are always welcome to contact us for advice.

New compliance and enforcement strategy

We are developing a Compliance and Enforcement Strategy that will detail our areas of focus for a three-year period from 2017 to 2020. Industry stakeholders have contributed their views on where resources should be targeted, to ensure compliance and enforcement activities are as effective as possible.

The Compliance and Enforcement Strategy, and a summary of industry input, will be published near the end of 2017.

Principles we follow​​

Our approach to compliance and enforcement is underpinned by these principles:

  • Voluntary compliance — industry participants will be helped to understand your obligations to support and encourage voluntary compliance.
  • Fair and respectful — compliance and enforcement activities will be undertaken in accordance with the law, be fair and impartial, respectful of individuals and within the officers’ authority.
  • Due process in decision-making — procedural fairness and natural justice will consistently be applied to all participants.
  • Consistent and objective approach — the WELS Act will be administered and enforced in a coherent, consistent and objective manner.
  • Good governance and transparency — the WELS Regulator’s decisions will be underpinned by clear corporate governance processes which will be transparent and defensible.
  • Risk based approach — compliance and enforcement will be undertaken in a manner that is proportionate to the risks, is cost effective, maximises compliance and achieves the objectives of the WELS Act.
  • Behaviour of the regulated entities — entities that actively don’t comply or cooperate will be subject to stronger enforcement responses than those that are cooperative and willing to remedy accidental non-compliance.

These principles are detailed in our WELS Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

Compliance and enforcement policy

Publication details

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, March 2017

Our approach detailed in the WELS Compliance and Enforcement Policy encourages suppliers of regulated products to meet their legislated obligations through:

  • cooperation and collaboration
  • targeted communication and education activities
  • timely provision of information and advice.

The WELS Regulator recognises that engagement, education and provision of assistance in the first instance are the best approach to ensuring industry participants meet their obligations.

Where non-compliance cannot be resolved cooperatively, the WELS Regulator will escalate an enforcement response using the full force of the law if necessary. This may result in penalties.


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