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Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Bill 1998

Part 1 P reliminary

   

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 .

2   Commencement

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act commences on a day to be fixed by Proclamation.

             (2)  If this Act does not commence under subsection (1) within 6 months after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, it commences on the first day after the end of that period.

3   Object of Act

                   The object of this Act is to protect the health and safety of people, and to protect the environment, from the harmful effects of radiation.

4   Act binds the Crown

             (1)  This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

             (2)  Nothing in this Act renders the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an offence.

5   External Territories

                   This Act extends to every external Territory.

6   Extraterritorial operation

                   This Act applies within and outside Australia.

7   Act not to prejudice Australia’s defence

             (1)  Nothing in this Act requires or permits a person to take any action, or to refrain from taking any action, if taking the action or refraining from taking the action would be, or could reasonably be expected to be, prejudicial to Australia’s defence.

             (2)  Without limiting subsection (1), the Chief of the Defence Force may, after consulting with the Minister, declare by notice in writing that:

                     (a)  specified provisions of this Act or the regulations do not apply in relation to specified members of the Defence Force; or

                     (b)  specified provisions of this Act or the regulations apply subject to such modifications as are set out in the declaration in relation to specified members of the Defence Force.

The declaration has effect accordingly.

             (3)  In making a declaration under subsection (2), the Chief of the Defence Force must take into account the need to promote the object of this Act to the greatest extent consistent with the maintenance of Australia’s defence.

             (4)  A declaration under subsection (2) is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

8   Act not to prejudice national security

             (1)  Nothing in this Act requires or permits a person to take any action, or to refrain from taking any action, if taking the action or refraining from taking the action would be, or could reasonably be expected to be, prejudicial to Australia’s national security.

             (2)  Without limiting subsection (1), the Director-General of Security may, after consulting with the Minister, declare by notice in writing that specified provisions of this Act or the regulations do not apply, or apply subject to such modifications as are set out in the declaration, in relation to:

                     (a)  premises or a workplace under the control of the Director-General; or

                     (b)  a person who is employed under section 84 of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization Act 1979 ; or

                     (c)  the performance of work by such a person for the purpose of carrying out a function set out in section 17 of that Act.

The declaration has effect accordingly.

             (3)  In making a declaration under subsection (2), the Director-General must take into account the need to promote the object of this Act to the greatest extent consistent with the maintenance of Australia’s national security.

             (4)  A declaration under subsection (2) is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

9   Operation of Act

             (1)  It is the intention of the Parliament that this Act is not to exclude the operation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987 , to the extent that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987 is capable of operating concurrently with this Act.

Example:    A controlled person may be required by this Act to hold a licence, and by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987 to hold a permit, in respect of the same thing. The controlled person must satisfy the requirements of both Acts in so far as they are capable of being satisfied concurrently.

             (2)  The application of this Act in relation to nuclear material and associated items within the meaning of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987 is subject to any modifications that are prescribed by the regulations.

10   Application of Act to Commonwealth contractors

             (1)  This Act applies to a Commonwealth contractor, in respect of conduct referred to in subsection 29(1) that is engaged in by the Commonwealth contractor, only if, and in so far as, the conduct is engaged in:

                     (a)  for or on behalf of a Commonwealth entity; and

                     (b) under or for the purposes of a contract with the Commonwealth entity.

             (2)  This Act applies to a Commonwealth contractor, in respect of a dealing by the Commonwealth contractor with controlled material or controlled apparatus, only if, and in so far as, the dealing is:

                     (a) for or on behalf of a Commonwealth entity; and

                     (b)  under or for the purposes of a contract with the Commonwealth entity.

Example:    A private airline company leases premises on land owned by the Commonwealth, and deals with controlled material on behalf of a client that is not a Commonwealth entity. The airline company is not covered by the Act in respect of that dealing.

11   Offences

             (1)  Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code applies to all offences against this Act.

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

             (2)  A maximum penalty that is specified:

                     (a)  at the foot of a section of this Act (other than a section that is divided into subsections); or

                     (b)  at the foot of a subsection of this Act;

indicates that a person who contravenes the section or subsection is guilty of an offence against the section or subsection that is punishable, on conviction, by a penalty up to that maximum.