Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Antarctic Mining Prohibition Act 1991

Authoritative Version
Act No. 43 of 1991 as made
An Act to prohibit mining activities in the Australian Antarctic Territory and Antarctica, and for related purposes
Date of Assent 27 Mar 1991
Date of repeal 01 Mar 1998
Repealed by Antarctic (Environment Protection) Legislation Amendment Act 1992

Antarctic Mining Prohibition Act 1991

No. 43 of 1991

 

An Act to prohibit mining activities in the Australian Antarctic Territory and Antarctica, and for related purposes

[Assented to 27 March 1991]

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Short title

1.  This Act may be cited as the Antarctic Mining Prohibition Act 1991.

Commencement

2.  This Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

Definitions

3.  In this Act:

“Antarctica” means:

(a)     the land and ice shelves south of latitude 60° south; and

(b)    the areas of continental shelf adjacent to that land and south of latitude 60° south;


“Antarctic Treaty” means the treaty whose English text is set out in the Schedule to the Antarctic Treaty Act 1960;

“Australia” includes the external Territories;

“Australian Antarctic Territory” means the territory defined in section 4 of the Australian Antarctic Territory Act 1954, together with the adjacent continental shelf south of latitude 60° south;

“Australian national” means:

(a)     an Australian citizen; and

(b)    a body corporate that is incorporated in Australia or carries on its activities mainly in Australia;

“continental shelf” has the same meaning as in the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973;

“country of nationality”, in relation to a person who is not an Australian national, means:

(a)     if the person is an individual—the foreign country of which he or she is a citizen; and

(b)    if the person is a body corporate—the foreign country in which it is incorporated or mainly carries on its activities;

“mineral” means any non-living, non-renewable natural resource;

“mining activity” means an activity carried out for, or in connection with, the recovery or exploitation of minerals (including prospecting and exploring for minerals), but does not include:

(a)     an activity that amounts to, or is connected with, scientific investigation or scientific research within the meaning of the Antarctic Treaty; or

(b)    an activity that is necessary for building or maintaining in Antarctica scientific research stations or facilities for the supply of such stations.

Extension to external Territories

4.  This Act extends to every external Territory.

Act binds the Crown

5.  (1) This Act binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth, of each of the States, of the Australian Capital Territory, of the Northern Territory and of Norfolk Island.

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

Mining in the Australian Antarctic Territory

6.  A person must not engage in a mining activity in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Penalty: $100,000.

 


Mining in Antarctica

7.  An Australian national must not engage in a mining activity in Antarctica outside the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Penalty: $100,000.

Prosecution of offences

8.  (1) An offence against section 6 or 7 is an indictable offence.

(2)    Despite subsection (1), a court of summary jurisdiction may hear and determine proceedings in respect of an offence against section 6 or 7 if satisfied that it is proper to do so and the defendant and the prosecutor consent.

(3)    Where, under subsection (2), a court of summary jurisdiction convicts a person of an offence against section 6 or 7, the penalty that the court may impose is:

(a)     in the case of an individual—a fine not exceeding $10,000; and

(b)     in the case of a body corporate—a fine not exceeding $50,000.

Restriction on prosecution

9.  Proceedings cannot be started against a person who is neither an Australian national nor ordinarily resident in Australia in respect of:

(a)     an offence against section 6 of this Act; or

(b)     an offence against section 5, 6, 7 or 7a, or subsection 86 (1), of the Crimes Act 1914 that relates to an offence mentioned in paragraph (a);

if the act constituting the offence would also constitute an offence against a law of the person’s country of nationality for which the person would be liable to be prosecuted.

Mining Act of A.C.T. not to apply

10.  On the commencement of this Act, the Mining Act 1930 of the Australian Capital Territory ceases to be a law in force in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

[Minister’s second reading speech made in

House of Representatives on 6 March 1991

Senate on 14 March 1991]