Merchant Shipping Bill, 1991: Committee and Final Stages.
Question proposed: "That section 1 stand part of the Bill."
I welcome the provision to impose on-the-spot fines and I hope it will be enforced, unlike other on-the-spot fines, and that resources will be made available to ensure its enforcement.
Question put and agreed to.
Section 2 to 26, inclusive, agreed to.
Government amendment No 1:
In page 20, before section 27, the following new section inserted:
27. — (1) Where an authorised officer has reasonable grounds for believing that a person is committing or has committed an offence under section 20 standing prescribed for the time being, he may give to the person a notice in the prescribed form or in a form to the like effect stating—
(a) that the person is alleged to have committed the offence,
(b) that the person may, during the period of 21 days beginning on the date of the notice, make to the Minister at the address specified in the notice a payment of £100 accompanied by the notice,
(c) that a prosecution in respect of the alleged offence will not be instituted during the period specified in the notice and, if the payment specified in the notice is made during that period, no prosecution in respect of the alleged offence will be instituted.
(2) Where a notice is given under subsection (1)—
(a) a person to whom the notice applies may, during the period specified in the notice, make to the Minister at the address specified in the notice the payment specified in the notice, accompanied by the notice,
(b) the Minister may receive the payment, issue a receipt for it and retain the money so paid for disposal in such manner as may be prescribed and no payment so received shall in any circumstances be recoverable by the person who made it,
(c) a prosecution in respect of the alleged offence shall not be instituted in the period specified in the notice, and, if the payment specified in the notice is made during that period, no prosecution in respect of the alleged offence shall be instituted.
(3) In a prosecution for an offence referred to in subsection (1), the onus of showing that a payment pursuant to a notice under this section has been made shall lie on the defendant.
(4) The Minister may by regulations vary the amount standing specified for the time being in subsection (1) and subsection (1) shall have effect in accordance with the terms of any such regulations."
Senators are fully aware of what is contained in the amendment. We have discussed it already and I thank them for their welcome for it. I look forward to using the power it confers on me following the recommendations of and discussions with the safety committee.
Amendment agreed to.
Sections 27 to 31, inclusive, agreed to.
Schedule agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendment, received for final consideration and passed.