Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Statutory Rules 1999 No. 308

Issued by the authority of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Quarantine Act 1908

Quarantine (General) Amendment Regulations 1999 (No. 1)

Paragraph 87(1)(sa) of the Quarantine Act 1908 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may make regulations enabling a person who is alleged to have contravened a provision of the Act or regulations thereof to pay to the Commonwealth a penalty of not more than 10 penalty units as an alternative to prosecution.

The first purpose of the Quarantine (General) Amendment Regulations 1999 (No 1) is to amend regulations 84 to 96 of the Quarantine (General) Regulations 1956. This Amendment aims to clarify the current wording of regulation 84 to enable successful prosecution of persons who, having been issued with a Quarantine Infringement Notice for a breach of the Act or Regulations, elect to go to court rather than pay an on-the-spot penalty.

A second purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that certain information is printed on the Quarantine Infringement Notice form advising persons of their rights and obligations under the Regulations. This amendment arises as a response to a commitment given to the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances in the 106th Report of the Committee.

The Amendment amends the Quarantine (General) Regulations as follows:

Regulation 1 gives the name of the regulations as the Quarantine (General) Amendment Regulations 1999 (No. 1).

Regulation 2 states that the Regulation commences on gazettal.

Regulation 3 states that Schedule 1 of the Regulation amends the Quarantine (General) Regulations.

Schedule 1

Clause 1 renames the regulations as the Quarantine (General) Regulations 1956

Clause 2 substitutes a new regulation 84 for the current regulation 84

New regulation 84 makes it an offence for a person to give a false or misleading answer to a question about a quarantine matter on an incoming passenger card. There is a penalty of 10 penalty units, and the offence is characterised as one of strict liability.

Clause 3 substitutes a new heading for regulation 85 being 'Definitions of Part'

Clause 4 substitutes a new definition of an infringement notice offence into regulation 85 to the effect that an 'infringement notice offence' is a contravention by a passenger or crew member of subsections 70A(3) or 70A(3A) of the Act, or a contravention of sub-regulation 84(1).

Clause 5 inserts a new definition of a section 20AA place into regulation 85

Clause 6 inserts a new number into section 86, making old section 86 sub-section 86(1)

Clause 7 Inserts at the end of regulation 86 a second clause stating that if a person who has allegedly committed an infringement notice offence leaves the port or place of entry where the contravention allegedly occurred without an infringement notice being served on them, an infringement notice must not be served upon them subsequently.

Clause 8 substitutes new regulations 89, 90 and 91 for the current provisions.

New regulation 89 states the kind of information an infringement notice must contain. Regulation 90 states when it is that a person who is served with an infringement notice must pay the fine. Regulation 91 states what happens after a person who is served with an infringement notice pays the prescribed penalty.

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