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Stop Dumping on the Great Barrier Reef Bill 2014

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2013-2014

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Stop Dumping on the Great Barrier Reef Bill 2014

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senator Waters)



 

 

Stop Dumping on the Great Barrier Reef Bill 2014

 

Outline

The Stop Dumping on the Great Barrier Reef Bill 2014 bans new offshore dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and ensures that dumping which has been approved at Abbot Point cannot proceed.

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Part 1 - Preliminary

 

Clause 1

This is a formal provision specifying the short title.

Clause 2 - Commencement

This provision sets out that the Act will commence on the day after it receives Royal Assent.

Clause 3 - Schedule

This provision gives effect to the amendments set out in Schedule 1 to the Bill.

 

Schedule 1 - Dumping dredged material in Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

Item 1

Item 1 inserts a definition of Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area into the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981.

Item 2

Sub-section 10AA (1) establishes that is it an offence to dump dredged material within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, which attracts a maximum penalty of 250 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months or both.

It is appropriate that strict liability apply to the Great Barrier Reef element of the offence as a defendant can reasonably be expected, because of his or her professional involvement in the dredging industry, to know the requirements of the law and the location of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Sub-section 10AA (3) sets out that no permit can be given to allow dumping of dredged material within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Any such permit in force ceases to have effect (subject to the application provision in item 4).

Sub-section 10AA (4) provides that certain provisions in the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 which allow some dumping related to the exploitation of seabed minerals, do not apply to the dumping of dredged material in the Reef. Sub-section (4) also provides that the Reef cannot be exempted from the provisions inserted by this Bill by declaration by a State government. Sub-section (4) also makes technical modifications of the permit system to ensure that the Reef is protected from dumping.

Sub-section 10AA (5) clarifies that other provisions of the Act do apply to dumping of dredged material in the Reef.

Item 3

Sub-section 10CA (1) establishes that is it an offence to load dredged materials, onto a vessel or platform, where the person knows (or is reckless with regard to the fact) that that material is to be dumped within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This offence attracts a maximum penalty of 250 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months or both.

Sub-section 10CA (2) sets out that no permit can be given to allow the loading of dredged materials that are to be dumped within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Any such permit in force ceases to have effect (subject to the application provision in item 4).

Sub-section 10CA (3) provides that certain provisions in the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 which allow some dumping related to the exploitation of seabed minerals, do not apply to the dumping of dredged material in the Great Barrier Reef. Sub-section (3) also provides that the Great Barrier Reef cannot be exempted from the provisions inserted by this Bill by declaration by a State government. Sub-section (3) also makes technical amendments to the permit system to ensure that the Great Barrier Reef is protected from dumping.

Sub-section 10CA (4) clarifies that other provisions of the Act do apply to dumping of dredged material in the Great Barrier Reef.

Item 4

This item prevents the amendments applying retrospectively in cases where a permit or approval was given for the activities prohibited by this Schedule on or before 9 December 2013. However, this provision makes sure that the dumping approved at Abbot Point on 10 December 2013, or any other offshore dumping approved after 9 December 2013, cannot proceed.



 

Text Box: Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights
 Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011
 
 Stop Dumping on the Great Barrier Reef Bill 2014
 This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.
 
 Overview of the Bill
 This Bill amends the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 to prohibit the dumping of dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. 
 
 Human rights implications
 This Bill is confined solely to regulating the disposal of dredged material in an area where it may impact the world heritage properties of the Great Barrier Reef. The Bill does not engage any human rights in a positive or negative manner. 
 
 Conclusion 
 The Bill is compliant with the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.
 
 
 Senator Larissa Waters