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Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2012

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2010-2011-2012

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STRONGER FUTURES IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY BILL 2012

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs,

Minister for Disability Reform, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP)



STRONGER FUTURES IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY BILL 2012

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

OUTLINE

 

These amendments clarify the intended meaning of ‘alcohol’ in relation to liquor offences in the tackling alcohol abuse measure, and also clarify that police infringement notices can be issued for certain offences under those new provisions, as an alternative to commencing a prosecution.

 

 

Financial impact statement

 

The financial impact of these amendments is nil.

 

 



STRONGER FUTURES IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY BILL 2012

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

Firstly, the amendments clarify the meaning of ‘alcohol’ in the offence relating to supply of liquor.  Secondly, it is clarified that police infringement notices can be issued for certain offences under subsections 75B(1), 75C(1) and 75F(1), which are to be inserted (by modification under clause 8) into the Northern Territory Liquor Act .

 

Amendments 1, 2 and 3 insert the word ‘ethyl’ before ‘alcohol’ in subsection 75C(7), and substitute the word ‘liquor’ for the current word ‘alcohol’ in each of subparagraphs 75C(7)(b)(i) and (ii).

 

These amendments clarify that supply liquor offences involving quantities of alcohol greater than 1,350 millilitres are only intended to involve quantities of liquor with greater than 1,350 millilitres of ‘ethyl’ alcohol, or pure alcohol.  This is consistent with the definition of ‘liquor’ in the Northern Territory Liquor Act , which is ‘a beverage that contains more than 1.15% by volume of ethyl alcohol’.  The change will make it clear that the larger maximum penalty for supply offences under subsection 75C(1) is applicable only where the amount of ethyl alcohol involved is greater than 1,350 millilitres.

 

Amendment 4 omits clause 11 and substitutes a new clause 11.  The amendment clarifies that offences under subsection 75B(1), subsection 75C(1) (provided the offence does not involve a quantity of ethyl alcohol greater than 1,350 millilitres) and subsection 75F(1) are police infringement offences.  That is, Northern Territory police will have the option of issuing an infringement notice to an offender in appropriate circumstances, rather than requiring a prosecution to commence. 

 

While the offences under subsections 75B(1) and 75C(1) contain relatively serious maximum penalties of up to 100 penalty units or six months’ imprisonment, there are many and varied circumstances in which these offences can occur.  For example, the potential range of penalties will cater for first-time offenders through to serious and repeat offenders.  This means that there is a broad range of potential consequences for an offence under subsection 75B(1), 75C(1) or 75F(1), and this is appropriate, given the range of circumstances that may apply in a particular case.

 

The amendment should be read in the context of the Object of Part 2 to reduce alcohol-related harm to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.

 

The amendment will also ensure that the prescribed infringement penalty amount aligns with the equivalent infringement penalty for an offence under subsection 75(1) in the Northern Territory Liquor Act .