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Gene Technology Bill 2000

Part 10 Enforcement

   

145   Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Part:

This Part enables the Regulator to give directions to a licence holder or to a person covered by a licence, if:

               (a)     the Regulator believes that the person is not complying with this Act or the regulations; and

              (b)     the Regulator believes that it is necessary to do so in order to protect the health and safety of people or to protect the environment.

The Part also empowers the Federal Court to issue injunctions, and contains a forfeiture provision.

146   Regulator may give directions

             (1)  If the Regulator believes, on reasonable grounds, that:

                     (a)  a licence holder is not complying with this Act or the regulations in respect of a thing; and

                     (b)  it is necessary to exercise powers under this section in order to protect the health and safety of people or to protect the environment;

the Regulator may give directions to the licence holder, by written notice, requiring the licence holder, within the time specified in the notice, to take such steps in relation to the thing as are reasonable in the circumstances for the licence holder to comply with this Act or the regulations.

             (2)  If the Regulator believes on reasonable grounds that:

                     (a)  a person covered by a GMO licence is not complying with this Act or the regulations in respect of a thing; and

                     (b)  it is necessary to exercise powers under this section in order to protect the health and safety of people or to protect the environment;

the Regulator may give directions to the person, by written notice, requiring the person, within the time specified in the notice, to take such steps in relation to the thing as are reasonable in the circumstances for the person to comply with this Act or the regulations.

             (3)  A person commits an offence if he or she does not take the steps specified in a notice under subsection (1) or (2) within the time specified in the notice.

Maximum penalty:

                     (a)  in the case of an aggravated offence— 2,0 00 penalty units;

                     (b)  in any other case—500 penalty units.

Note 1:       Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

Note 2:       Aggravated offence is defined in section 38.

             (4)  If the licence holder or the person, as the case requires, does not take the steps specified in the notice within the time specified in the notice, the Regulator may arrange for those steps to be taken.

             (5)  If the Regulator incurs costs because of arrangements made by the Regulator under subsection (4), the licence holder or the person, as the case requires, is liable to pay to the Commonwealth an amount equal to the cost, and the amount may be recovered by the Commonwealth as a debt due to the Commonwealth in a court of competent jurisdiction.

             (6)  Section 4K of the Crimes Act 1914 does not apply to an offence against subsection (3).

             (7)  A time specified in a notice under subsection (1) or (2) must be reasonable having regard to the circumstances.

147   Injunctions

             (1)  If a person has engaged, is engaging, or is about to engage in any conduct that is or would be an offence against this Act or the regulations, the Federal Court of Australia (the Court ) may, on the application of the Regulator or any other aggrieved person, grant an injunction restraining the person from engaging in the conduct.

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  a person has refused or failed, is refusing or failing, or is about to refuse or fail, to do a thing; and

                     (b)  the refusal or failure is, or would be, an offence against this Act or the regulations;

the Court may, on the application of the Regulator or any other aggrieved person, grant an injunction requiring the person to do the thing.

             (3)  The power of the Court to grant an injunction may be exercised:

                     (a)  whether or not it appears to the Court that the person intends to engage, or to continue to engage, in conduct of that kind; and

                     (b)  whether or not the person has previously engaged in conduct of that kind.

             (4)  The Court may discharge or vary an injunction granted under this section.

             (5)  The Court may grant an interim injunction pending a determination of an application under subsection (1).

             (6)  The powers granted by this section are in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other powers of the Court.

148   Forfeiture

             (1)  If a court:

                     (a)  convicts a person of an offence against this Act or the regulations; or

                     (b)  makes an order under section 19B of the Crimes Act 1914 in respect of a person charged with an offence against this Act or the regulations;

the court may order forfeiture to the Commonwealth of any thing used or otherwise involved in the commission of the offence.

             (2)  A thing ordered by a court to be forfeited under this section becomes the property of the Commonwealth and may be sold or otherwise dealt with in accordance with the directions of the Regulator.

             (3)  Until the Regulator gives a direction, the thing must be kept in such custody as the Regulator directs.