Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Illicit drug precursors

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

Illicit drugs and substances and materials which may be used in the production of illicit drugs are subject to statutory controls in WA which are intended to prevent the production and supply of these substances for illicit purposes.

The relevant legislation has been amended to encompass substances and equipment which may be used in the production of drugs for illicit purposes. The legislation includes lists of substances and equipment of interest, and imposes a tiered set of requirements to be met prior to regulated material being supplied to a purchaser.

Substances and equipment subject to the legislative requirements can only be possessed if there is a lawful authority or purpose for the possession under this or other legislation (such as the Poisons Regulations).


Tertiary research and teaching uses within the University are subject to an exemption from most the general requirements of the legislation, providing that:

  • the substances and equipment are used for University purposes
  • the materials are ordered on an official order form/purchase order or other official UWA paperwork – phone and internet orders are not acceptable – and go through a formal billing process.

Note, also, that the regulated materials must be delivered to a recognised UWA address.

So, for example, phone or internet orders paid for by credit card can’t be processed by a supplier without confirmatory hardcopy paperwork.

For organisations not subject to the exemption clauses which apply to UWA, detailed paperwork may be required prior to orders being processed. This may require proof of identification, Australian Business Number declarations and other checks.

In any case, substances and equipment subject to the regulations can not be supplied from UWA to non-UWA personnel or entities without formal notification to WA Police and other authorities as required. Similarly, UWA personnel can not order regulated materials for other organisations.

In the current climate, with regard to clandestine drug manufacture, and considering the desirability of these materials for such purposes, it is strongly recommended that all scheduled substances and equipment be well secured.

Anyone who is conducting research using chemicals that are considered illicit drug precursors should familiarise themselves with the relevant schedules (from the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1982).