Penalties may apply to all persons involved.
The Maritime (Offences) Regulations 1998 provide for offences which on summary conviction carry a maximum fine of $3,000 to $5,000 for individuals and $20,000 to $30,000 for a body corporate. These provisions and penalties apply to ship owners and masters. They also apply to harbourmasters, ‘shippers’ of dangerous goods, manufacturers of packagings, consolidators and packers and port operators.
The Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999 (as amended) provide for offences against the Land Transport Rule. These offences attract a wide range of instant fines up to $10,000 for a company and $2,000 for an individual. Fines for summary convictions include a maximum $50,000 for a company and $10,000 for an individual.
The Civil Aviation (Offences) Regulations 1997 provide for offences for instant fines and 29 offences for which summary conviction results in a fine. The infringement fees for these offences range from $250 to $2,000 for an individual and $1,500 to $12,000 for a body corporate. The maximum fines resulting from a summary conviction range from $650 to $5,000 for an individual and $3,750 to $30,000 for a body corporate.
The offence provisions of the HSNO Act that are most relevant to the transport sector are those in section 109(1)(e) to (g) and (j) to (m) of the HSNO Act. However, other provisions may apply in particular circumstances. The offences in section 109(1)(e) to (g) are strict liability (where it is not necessary to prove that the defendant intended to commit the offence, although certain defences apply). The penalties (section 114) range from maximum fines of $5,000 or $50,000 up to a maximum fine of $500,000 or three months’ imprisonment. If the major offences are continuing ones, further fines of up to $5,000 or $50,000 may apply for every day the offence continues. The Court may also require a person convicted of an offence to mitigate or remedy any adverse effects on people or the environment or to pay the costs of doing so. Finally, the Act allows for enforcement officers to impose infringement notices (instant fines), but at the time of writing in August 2008, these were still being developed.
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