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A Bill for an Act to amend the Quarantine Act 1908, and for related purposes
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Introduced Senate 21 Aug 2003

Quarantine Amendment (Health) Bill 2003
First Reading

Quarantine Amendment (Health) Bill 2003
First Reading

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2002-2003

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

THE SENATE

Presented and read a first time

Quarantine Amendment (Health) Bill 2003

No. , 2003

(Health and Ageing)

A Bill for an Act to amend the Quarantine Act 1908, and for related purposes

Contents

1       Short title 1

2       Commencement 1

3       Schedule(s) 2

Schedule 1--Amendment of the Quarantine Act 1908       3

Part 1--Main amendments       3

Part 2--Amendments relating to Christmas Island       17

A Bill for an Act to amend the Quarantine Act 1908, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1 Short title
        This Act may be cited as the Quarantine Amendment (Health) Act 2003.

2 Commencement
       (1) Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, on the day or at the time specified in column 2 of the table.

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provision(s)

Commencement

Date/Details

1. Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent


2. Schedule 1, Part 1

A single day to be fixed by Proclamation, subject to subsection (3)


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3. Schedule 1, Part 2

The later of:

(a) immediately after the commencement of the provisions covered by item 2 of this table; and

(b) the commencement of items 1 to 113 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2003


Note:       This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally passed by the Parliament and assented to. It will not be expanded to deal with provisions inserted in this Act after assent.

       (2) Column 3 of the table is for additional information that is not part of this Act. This information may be included in any published version of this Act.

       (3) If a provision covered by item 2 of the table does not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, it commences on the first day after the end of that period.

3 Schedule(s)
        Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1--Amendment of the Quarantine Act 1908
Part 1--Main amendments

1 Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

declared place has the meaning given by section 12.

2 Subsection 5(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of Pratique)

After "a vessel" (first occurring), insert ", other than an overseas aircraft to which subsection 32B(1) applies".

3 Subsection 5(1) (after paragraph (a) of the definition of Pratique)

Insert:

       (aa) in relation to an overseas aircraft to which subsection 32B(1) applies--pratique taken to have been granted under subsection 32B(1) since the last arrival of the aircraft from:

       (i) in the case of an aircraft in Australia--places outside Australia; or

       (ii) in the case of an aircraft in the Cocos Islands--places outside the Cocos Islands;

        and having effect at the port where the aircraft is for the time being; and

4 Subsection 5(1) (definition of proclaimed place)

Repeal the definition.

5 Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

vector means anything capable of carrying or transmitting pests, diseases or infections.

6 Subsection 8A(2)

Omit "for a division or divisions of human quarantine specified in the determination".

7 Saving of determinations

A determination made under subsection 8A(2) of the Quarantine Act 1908 that was in force immediately before the commencement of item 6 of this Schedule continues in force, on and after that commencement, as if the determination had been made under subsection 8A(2) as amended by item 6.

8 Subsection 8A(6)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

       (6) Each quarantine officer (human quarantine) is to perform functions and may exercise powers under, and subject to the directions of, a Chief Quarantine Officer (Human Quarantine) or the Director of Human Quarantine.

9 Subsection 8A(7)

Repeal the subsection.


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10 Subsection 9(3)

Repeal the subsection.

11 Saving of appointments

An appointment made under section 9 of the Quarantine Act 1908 that was in force immediately before the commencement of item 10 of this Schedule continues in force, on and after that commencement, as if the appointment had been made under section 9 as amended by item 10.

12 Subsection 9A(1B)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

       (1B) A person appointed as a temporary quarantine officer under subsection (1) or authorised to act as a temporary quarantine officer under subsection (1A) is, in the performance of his or her functions and in the exercise of his or her powers, subject to the directions of a Chief Quarantine Officer or the relevant Director of Quarantine.

13 Saving of appointments and authorisations

An appointment or authorisation made under section 9A of the Quarantine Act 1908 that was in force immediately before the commencement of item 12 of this Schedule continues in force, on and after that commencement, as if the appointment or authorisation had been made under section 9A as amended by item 12.

14 Section 12

Repeal the section, substitute:

12 Declared places
       (1) The Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, declare that a place beyond or in Australia is infected with a quarantinable disease or quarantinable pest, or that a quarantinable disease or quarantinable pest may be brought or carried from or through that place.

       (2) For the purposes of this Act, a place is a declared place while the declaration remains in force.

15 Paragraph 15(1)(c)

Omit "proclaimed place", substitute "declared place".

16 After paragraph 18(1)(b)

Insert:

       (ba) every person who a quarantine officer reasonably suspects is infected with a quarantinable disease or quarantinable pest;

17 Paragraph 21(1A)(a)

Repeal the paragraph.

18 Subsections 22(1), (2) and (3)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

       (1) Subsection (2) applies if:

       (a) a prescribed symptom presents itself, or a prescribed disease or an infectious disease breaks out, on board a vessel; or

       (b) the master of a vessel believes or suspects, or has reason to believe or suspect, that a quarantinable disease has broken out, or a quarantinable pest is, on board the vessel.

       (2) The master of the vessel:

       (a) if the vessel is not actually performing quarantine under the supervision of a quarantine officer--must immediately notify a quarantine officer of the presence of the symptom, the breaking out of the disease or the existence of the pest; and

       (b) if the vessel is not an overseas aircraft--must immediately display the quarantine signal on the vessel and must keep it displayed until he or she is authorised by a quarantine officer to remove it or until the vessel is released from quarantine.

Maximum penalty:       Imprisonment for 5 years.

19 Paragraph 31(1)(b)

After "a quarantine area", insert "or under quarantine surveillance".

20 Subsection 32(1)

Omit "proclaimed place", substitute "declared place".

Note:       The heading to section 32 is altered by omitting "proclaimed places" and substituting "declared places".

21 Paragraph 32A(1)(b)

Omit "proclaimed place", substitute "declared place".

Note:       The heading to section 32A is altered by omitting "proclaimed place" and substituting "declared place".

22 After section 32A

Insert:

32B Pratique in relation to certain overseas aircraft
       (1) An overseas aircraft that arrives at a port in Australia or the Cocos Islands is taken to have been granted pratique at the time of its arrival.


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       (2) However, subsection (1) does not apply, and is taken never to have applied, if:

       (a) the commander of the aircraft has, in accordance with section 22, notified a quarantine officer of the presence of a prescribed symptom, or the breaking out of a prescribed disease or an infectious disease, on board the aircraft; or

       (b) the commander of the aircraft has given prescribed information, required by section 27B, to a quarantine officer; or

       (c) the Director of Human Quarantine has given a direction, before the aircraft arrives, that pratique is not taken to have been granted under this section; or

       (d) a quarantine officer (human quarantine) advises the commander of the aircraft, before or after the aircraft arrives, that he or she is not satisfied that the aircraft is free from infection.

       (3) For the purpose of paragraph (2)(c), regulations may prescribe:

       (a) the circumstances in which the Director of Human Quarantine may give a direction; and

       (b) considerations the Director must take into account in giving a direction; and

       (c) if paragraph (b) applies--whether the Director may take other considerations into account in giving the direction.

       (4) Pratique has effect at the port where the overseas aircraft lands, for as long as the aircraft remains at the port.

23 Before subsection 33(1)

Insert:

       (1AA) This section does not apply to an overseas aircraft to which subsection 32B(1) applies.

Note:       The heading to section 33 is replaced by "Pratique in relation to other overseas vessels".

24 Subsection 34(1)

Omit "proclaimed place", substitute "declared place".

25 After subsection 35(1)

Insert:

       (1AAAA) In deciding whether a person is, or is likely to be, infected with a quarantinable disease or quarantinable pest or a source of infection with a quarantinable disease or quarantinable pest, the quarantine officer may seek an opinion from a medical practitioner.

26 After subsection 35(1A)

Insert:

       (1B) In deciding whether a person has been successfully vaccinated or inoculated against any prescribed disease, the quarantine officer (human quarantine) may seek an opinion from a medical practitioner.

       (1C) If a quarantine officer (human quarantine) orders a person into quarantine under subsection (1A), the officer must also:

       (a) inform the person of his or her right to request an independent medical assessment as allowed by section 35C; and

       (b) notify the Director of Human Quarantine, in writing, of the order as soon as practicable.

27 Subsections 35(2) and (2A)

Omit "proclaimed place", substitute "declared place".

28 At the end of section 35

Add:

       (5) In this section:

medical practitioner means a person who is registered as a medical practitioner in a State or Territory.

29 After subsection 35AA(4)

Insert:

       (4A) If a quarantine officer (human quarantine) orders a person into quarantine under subsection (3) or (4), the officer must also:

       (a) inform the person of his or her right to request an independent medical assessment as allowed by section 35C; and

       (b) notify the Director of Human Quarantine, in writing, of the order as soon as practicable.

30 After subsection 35A(3)

Insert:

Medical opinion may be sought

       (3A) In deciding whether a person is suffering or suspected to be suffering from the disease, a quarantine officer (human quarantine) may seek an opinion from a medical practitioner.

Director of Human Quarantine to be notified

       (3B) If a quarantine officer (human quarantine) orders a person into quarantine under subsection (3), the officer must also:

       (a) inform the person of his or her right to request

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an independent medical assessment as allowed by section 35C; and

       (b) notify the Director of Human Quarantine, in writing, of the order as soon as practicable.

31 Subsection 35A(11)

Insert:

medical practitioner means a person who is registered as a medical practitioner in a State or Territory.

32 After section 35A

Insert:

35B Release from quarantine
       (1) A person ordered into quarantine under section 35, 35AA or 35A must be released from quarantine once the person receives a certificate of release from a quarantine officer (human quarantine) authorising his or her release.

       (2) In deciding whether to give a person a certificate of release, a quarantine officer (human quarantine) may seek an opinion from a medical practitioner.

       (3) If a quarantine officer (human quarantine) gives a person a certificate of release, the officer must also notify the Director of Human Quarantine, in writing, of the person's release as soon as practicable.

       (4) In this section:

medical practitioner means a person who is registered as a medical practitioner in a State or Territory.

35C Person ordered into quarantine may seek an independent medical assessment
       (1) A person ordered into quarantine under section 35, 35AA or 35A who is, or is likely to be, suffering from a human quarantinable disease or a communicable disease, may request that a quarantine officer (human quarantine) arrange for a medical practitioner, nominated by the person, to provide the person with a written independent medical assessment of the person's condition.

       (2) The quarantine officer (human quarantine) must arrange for the independent medical assessment to be provided if:

       (a) the person agrees to pay any fee or other amount required by the medical practitioner for providing the assessment; and

       (b) the medical practitioner agrees to provide the assessment.

       (3) A person may not make a request under subsection (1) during any period while:

       (a) a Proclamation by the Governor-General under section 2B declaring the existence of an epidemic is in force; or

       (b) the Minister is taking quarantine measures, or measures incidental to quarantine, under section 12A.

       (4) A person who has been provided with a medical assessment may not make a further request under subsection (1) unless 72 hours have passed since that assessment was provided.

       (5) In this section:

medical practitioner means a person who is registered as a medical practitioner under a State or Territory law.

35D Chief Quarantine Officer (Human Quarantine) must assess whether a person is to remain in quarantine
       (1) A Chief Quarantine Officer (Human Quarantine) must assess whether a person is to remain in quarantine if:

       (a) an independent medical assessment is provided to the person in accordance with section 35C; and

       (b) the person gives a copy of the assessment to a quarantine officer (human quarantine).

       (2) In making his or her assessment, the Chief Quarantine Officer (Human Quarantine) must take into account the independent medical assessment.

       (3) Subsection (2) does not limit the matters that the Chief Quarantine Officer (Human Quarantine) may take into account.

33 Application of sections 35B and 35C

Sections 35B and 35C, as inserted by item 32, apply whether a person is ordered into quarantine under section 35, 35AA or 35A before or after the commencement of that item.

34 Subsection 45(4)

Omit "subject to quarantine shall be", substitute "who is".

35 Subsection 45(4)

Omit "and shall", substitute "must".

36 After Part V

Insert:


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Part VAA--Vector monitoring and control activities

55B Definitions
        In this Part:

monitoring and control area means any of the following areas (but not any area to the extent that it is beyond the outer boundary of the coastal area):

       (a) the area of a port;

       (b) the area within a permissible distance from the outer boundary of a port;

       (c) the area within a permissible distance from a place (other than a port) at which a vessel has landed, is moored or is berthed;

       (d) an area in relation to which the following conditions are satisfied:

       (i) there is a vector incursion within the permissible distance from the outer boundary of a port, or from a place referred to in paragraph (c);

       (ii) a quarantine officer (human quarantine) has reasonable cause to suspect that the vector has, or may have, travelled beyond the permissible distance of that boundary or place;

       (iii) the officer reasonably considers that carrying out vector monitoring and control activities in the area is necessary to ensure that the vector has not spread onto, or is not likely to become established in, that area.

permissible distance means 400 metres or such greater distance as is prescribed by regulations for the purpose of this definition.

private property means property (including premises) that is owned by, or under the control of, someone other than the Commonwealth.

vector monitoring and control activities has the meaning given by the regulations.

55C Vector monitoring and control activities (other than on private property)
        A quarantine officer (human quarantine), and other persons acting under his or her supervision or control (if any), may, when necessary, carry out vector monitoring and control activities in a monitoring and control area. However, to enter onto private property that is, or is within, such an area and carry out vector monitoring and control activities, one of sections 55E to 55G must be satisfied.

55D Private property--direction to owner or controller to carry out vector monitoring and control activities
       (1) The Director of Quarantine (Human Quarantine) or a Chief Quarantine Officer (Human Quarantine) may, in writing, direct a person who owns, or has control over, private property to carry out vector monitoring and control activities on the property if:

       (a) the property is, or is within, a monitoring and control area; and

       (b) the Director or Chief Quarantine Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that carrying out those activities on the property is necessary to ensure that a vector has not spread onto, or is not likely to become established on, the property.

       (2) The person must comply with the direction.

Maximum penalty:       Imprisonment for 5 years.

       (3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the person has a reasonable excuse.

Note:       A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (3) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

55E Private property--power of quarantine officer (human quarantine) to carry out vector monitoring and control activities with consent
       (1) A quarantine officer (human quarantine), and other persons acting under his or her supervision or control (if any), may enter onto private property and carry out vector monitoring and control activities if:

       (a) the property is, or is within, a monitoring and control area; and

       (b) a consent given by the person who owns or controls the property covers the officer and those other persons (if any) entering onto the property and carrying out those activities.

       (2) A person's consent is not effective for the purposes of this section unless, before giving the consent, a quarantine

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officer (human quarantine) informed the person that he or she could refuse to consent.

       (3) A person's consent is not effective for the purposes of this section unless the consent is voluntary.

55F Private property--power of quarantine officer (human quarantine) to carry out vector monitoring and control activities in emergency
        A quarantine officer (human quarantine), and other persons acting under his or her supervision or control (if any), may enter onto private property and carry out vector monitoring and control activities if:

       (a) the property is, or is within, a monitoring and control area; and

       (b) a quarantine officer (human quarantine) has reasonable grounds to believe that the situation is of such seriousness and urgency as to justify carrying out the activities on the property without the consent of the person who owns or controls the property and without the authority of a warrant issued under section 55G.

55G Private property--power of quarantine officer (human quarantine) to carry out vector monitoring and control activities under warrant
Carrying out vector monitoring and control activities under warrant

       (1) A quarantine officer (human quarantine), and other persons acting under his or her supervision or control (if any), may enter onto private property and carry out vector monitoring and control activities if:

       (a) the property is, or is within, a monitoring and control area; and

       (b) a warrant in force under this section authorises the quarantine officer (human quarantine), and those other persons (if any), to enter onto the property and carry out the activities.

Application for warrant

       (2) A quarantine officer (human quarantine) may apply to a magistrate for a warrant under this section in relation to particular private property.

Issue of warrant

       (3) The magistrate may issue the warrant if the magistrate is satisfied, by information on oath, that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that:

       (a) the property is, or is within, a monitoring and control area; and

       (b) entering onto the property and carrying out the activities is necessary to ensure that a vector has not spread onto, or is not likely to become established on, the property.

       (4) However, the magistrate must not issue the warrant unless the officer or some other person has given to the magistrate, either orally or by affidavit, such further information (if any) as the magistrate requires concerning the grounds on which the issue of the warrant is being sought.

Content of warrant

       (5) The warrant must:

       (a) authorise a named quarantine officer (human quarantine), and other persons under the supervision or control of the officer (to the extent that the magistrate considers it appropriate for the warrant to cover such other persons):

       (i) to enter onto the property; and

       (ii) to carry out vector monitoring and control activities either generally, or as specified in the warrant; and

       (b) specify the day (not more than 7 days after the issue of the warrant) on which the warrant ceases to have effect; and

       (c) state whether the entry and carrying out of activities is authorised to be made at any time of the day or night or during specified hours of the day or night.

       (6) Paragraph (5)(b) does not prevent the issue of successive warrants in relation to the same property.

       (7) If the application for the warrant is made under section 66AH, this section applies as if paragraph (5)(b) referred to 48 hours rather than 7 days.

Note:       Section 66AH provides for warrants to be granted by telephone or other electronic means.

37 Subsection 59(2)

Omit "shall be paid", substitute "must, at the Minister's request, be paid".

38 Application of item 37

The amendment made by item 37 applies to expenses incurred on and after the day on which this item commences.

39 Section 62

Repeal the section.

40 Application of item 39

The amendment made by item 39 does not apply to costs incurred before the day on which this item commences.

41 Subsections 66AH(1), (3) and (4)

Before "66AC", insert "55G,".

42 Paragraph 87(1)(j)

Omit "proclaimed places" (wherever occurring), substitute "declared places".

43 Subparagraph 87(1)(l)(ii)

Omit "proclaimed places", substitute "declared places".

Part 2--Amendments relating to Christmas Island

44 Subsection 5(1) (after subparagraph (aa)(ii) of the definition of Pratique)

Insert:

       or (iii) in the case of an aircraft in Christmas Island--places outside Christmas Island;

45 Subsection 32B(1)

Omit "or the Cocos Islands", substitute ", the Cocos Islands or Christmas Island,".