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BIOSECURITY ACT 2015 - SECT 520

Modifications of Part 4 of the Regulatory Powers Act

No civil penalty order after court finds person to have contravened similar Australian law

             (1)  A relevant court may not make a civil penalty order under Part 4 of the Regulatory Powers Act against a person for a contravention (the biosecurity contravention ) of a civil penalty provision of this Act if:

                     (a)  the person has been convicted of an offence under an Australian law; or

                     (b)  the person has been found by a court to have contravened a civil penalty provision under an Australian law;

that is constituted by conduct that is the same, or substantially the same, as the conduct constituting the biosecurity contravention.

Stay of proceedings for civil penalty order during corresponding criminal or civil proceedings

             (2)  Proceedings ( biosecurity proceedings ) for a civil penalty order under Part 4 of the Regulatory Powers Act against a person for a contravention (the biosecurity contravention ) of a civil penalty provision of this Act are stayed if:

                     (a)  either:

                              (i)  criminal proceedings are commenced or have already been commenced under an Australian law against the person for an offence; or

                             (ii)  civil proceedings are commenced or have already been commenced against the person for a contravention of a civil penalty provision under a law of a State or a Territory; and

                     (b)  the offence or contravention referred to in paragraph (a) is constituted by conduct that is the same, or substantially the same, as the conduct alleged to constitute the biosecurity contravention.

             (3)  The biosecurity proceedings may be resumed if the person is not convicted of the offence, or a court does not find that the person has contravened the civil penalty provision, referred to in paragraph (2)(a). Otherwise, the biosecurity proceedings are dismissed.

Corresponding criminal or civil proceedings not prevented

             (4)  The following proceedings may be commenced against a person:

                     (a)  criminal proceedings under an Australian law (subject to the terms of that law);

                     (b)  proceedings for a contravention of a civil penalty provision under a law of a State or a Territory (subject to the terms of that law);

for conduct that is the same, or substantially the same, as conduct that would constitute a contravention of a civil penalty provision of this Act regardless of whether a civil penalty order has been made under Part 4 of the Regulatory Powers Act against the person in relation to the contravention.

Sudden or extraordinary emergency

             (5)  A person is not liable under Part 4 of the Regulatory Powers Act to have a civil penalty order made against the person for a contravention of a civil penalty provision of this Act if he or she carries out the conduct constituting the contravention in response to circumstances of sudden or extraordinary emergency.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in this subsection (see section 96 of the Regulatory Powers Act).

             (6)  Subsection (5) applies if and only if the person carrying out the conduct reasonably believes that:

                     (a)  circumstances of sudden or extraordinary emergency exist; and

                     (b)  contravening the provision is the only reasonable way to deal with the emergency; and

                     (c)  the conduct is a reasonable response to the emergency.

Relationship with Regulatory Powers Act

             (7)  Subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) have effect despite Part 4 of the Regulatory Powers Act.



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