Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Misleading or deceptive publications etc.

  (1)   A person shall not, during the referendum period in relation to a referendum, print, publish or distribute, or cause, permit or authorize to be printed, published or distributed, any matter or thing that is likely to mislead or deceive an elector in relation to the casting of a vote at the referendum.

  (4)   A person who contravenes subsection   (1) commits an offence.


  (a)   if the person is a natural person--imprisonment for 3 years or 100 penalty units, or both; or

  (b)   if the person is a body corporate--500 penalty units.

  (5)   In a prosecution of a person for an offence against subsection   (4) by virtue of a contravention of subsection   (1), it is a defence if the person proves that he or she did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to have known, that the matter or thing was likely to mislead an elector in relation to the casting of a vote.

Note:   A defendant bears a legal burden in relation to the defence in subsection   (5) (see section   13.4 of the Criminal Code ).

  (6)   Section   15.2 of the Criminal Code (extended geographical jurisdiction--category B) applies to an offence against subsection   (4).

  (7)   In this section, publish includes publish by radio, television, internet or telephone.

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