(1) If a person is found guilty or convicted of an offence under section 17(4), (5) or (5B), section 18B, section 21(1) or section 41(5) in relation to any timber or threatened native vegetation, the Authority, notwithstanding that the timber or threatened native vegetation may have been harvested or cleared contrary to, or not in compliance with, the provisions of this Act or the Forest Practices Code, may allow another person to purchase or acquire that timber or threatened native vegetation.
(2) In determining whether or not to exercise its power under subsection (1) the Authority may have regard to such matters as it thinks fit in the circumstances, but it must have regard to the following considerations:
(a) if the offender is the owner of the timber or threatened native vegetation
(i) the seriousness of the offence and the offender's record of compliance with the Act and the Forest Practices Code; and
(ii) the amount of any financial benefit likely to accrue to the offender if the Authority exercises the power;
(b) the amount of any financial loss likely to be suffered by an innocent party if the Authority does not exercise its power;
(c) the nature of the relationship between the offender, the owner of the land (if the owner is not the offender) and any timber processor or other person who has expressed an interest in buying or acquiring the timber or threatened native vegetation;
(d) the quantity and quality of the timber or threatened native vegetation;
(e) whether the timber or threatened native vegetation is likely to be wasted if it is not sold or acquired;
(f) the regeneration or reafforestation requirements of the land on or from which the timber or threatened native vegetation was harvested or cleared.
(3) A timber processor or other person who purchases or acquires any timber or threatened native vegetation pursuant to the exercise by the Authority of its power under this section does not commit an offence against this Act or the Forest Practices Code by reason only of that purchase or acquisition.
(4) This section has effect notwithstanding any other provision of this Act.
(5) In this section threatened native vegetation means vegetation from a threatened native vegetation community.