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PROTECTION OF THE SEA LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 1986

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the Minister for Community Services (Senator Grimes)-That this Bill be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

Question-put and passed.

Bill read a second time.

The Senate, according to Order, resolved itself into Committee for the consideration of the Bill.

In the Committee

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

Senator Vigor, by leave, moved the following amendments together, viz:

Page 12, after clause 17, insert the following new clause:

Interpretation

""17a. The Principal Act is amended by adding after section 8 the following section:

"8a. This Part has effect as if-

(a) that part of the line referred to in paragraph (9) of regulation 1 of Annex I to the Convention which is between the point latitude 9*00' South and the point latitude 21*00' South were 1*00' East of the position indicated in that paragraph; and

(b) that part of the sea in Bass Strait which lies between 143*00' East longitude and 149*00' East longitude and which is more than 50 nautical miles from the nearest land were less than 50 nautical miles from the nearest land.'.''.

Page 23, clause 28, after proposed new Part IIIc, insert the following new Part:

PART IIId-PREVENTION OF POLLUTION BY RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

Prohibition of discharge of radioactive substances in sea

""26g. (1) Subject to sub-section (3), if any discharge of a radioactive substance, or of a mixture containing a radioactive substance, being a substance or mixture carried as cargo or part cargo in bulk, occurs from an Australian ship into the sea, the master and the owner of the ship are each guilty of an offence punishable, upon conviction, by a fine not exceeding-

(a) if the offender is a natural person-$50,000; or

(b) if the offender is a body corporate-$250,000.

""(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), "radioactive substance' means a substance having a specific activity greater than 350 becquerels per kilogram.

""(3) Sub-section (1) does not apply in relation to the sea near a State.

""(4) Sub-section (1) does not apply to the discharge of a radioactive substance or a mixture from a foreign ship unless the discharge occurs in the sea near the Jervis Bay Territory or an external Territory.

""(5) Sub-section (1) does not apply to the discharge of a radioactive substance or a mixture from a ship-

(a) for the purposes of securing the safety of a ship or saving life at sea;

(b) if the substance or the mixture, as the case may be, escaped from the ship in consequence of damage, other than intentional damage, to the ship or its equipment, and all reasonable precautions were taken after the occurrence of the damage or the discovery of the discharge for the purpose of preventing or minimising the escape of the substance or the mixture, as the case may be; or

(c) if the discharge was for the purpose of combating specific pollution incidents in order to minimise the damage from pollution and was approved by a prescribed officer and, where the discharge occurred in the jurisdiction of the government of a country other than Australia, by that government.

""(6) For the purposes of sub-section (5), damage to a ship or to its equipment shall be taken to be intentional damage if, and only if, the damage arose in circumstances in which the master or owner of the ship-

(a) acted with intent to cause the damage; or

(b) acted recklessly and with knowledge that damage would probably result.''.

Question-That the amendments be agreed to-put and negatived.

Bill agreed to.

Bill to be reported without amendment.

The Deputy-President (Senator Hamer) resumed the Chair; and the Temporary Chairman of Committees (Senator Jessop) reported accordingly.

On the motion of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Gietzelt) the Report from the Committee was adopted, and the Bill read a third time.