The EPA may appoint any person (including a class of persons) as an authorised officer for the purposes of this Act.
(1) An authorisation of a person as an authorised officer can be given generally, or subject to conditions, limitations or restrictions or only for limited purposes.(2) If such authorisation is given subject to conditions, limitations or restrictions or only for limited purposes, nothing in this Act authorises or requires the authorised officer to act in contravention of the conditions, limitations or restrictions or for other purposes.
(1) Every authorised officer is to be provided with an identification card as an authorised officer.(2) In the course of exercising the functions of an authorised officer under this Act, the officer must, if requested to do so by any person affected by the exercise of any such function, produce the officer’s identification card to the person.
This Division applies whether or not a power of entry under Division 3 is being or has been exercised.
(1) The EPA may, by notice in writing served on a person, require the person to furnish to it such information or records (or both) as it requires by the notice in connection with any matter relating to its responsibilities or functions under this Act.(2) For example, the EPA may require an interested person with respect to any significantly contaminated land (or any person that the EPA has reason to believe carries on or carried on activities on the land) to furnish to the EPA, within a reasonable time specified in the notice, such particulars within the knowledge of the person of any activities presently or formerly carried out on the land as the EPA may reasonably require for the purposes of its investigation of the land.
An authorised officer may, by notice in writing served on a person, require the person to furnish to the officer such information or records (or both) as the officer requires by the notice in connection with any matter under this Act.
A notice under this Division must specify the manner in which information or records are required to be furnished and a reasonable time by or at which the information or records are required to be furnished.
(1) A notice under this Division may only require a person to furnish:(a) information within the knowledge of the person, or(b) records that are in the person’s possession or that are within the person’s power to obtain lawfully.(2) The person to whom any record is furnished under this Division may take copies of it.(3) If any record required to be furnished under this Division is in electronic, mechanical or other form, the notice requires the record to be furnished in written form, unless the notice otherwise provides.
(1) An authorised officer may enter:(a) any land on which the authorised officer reasonably suspects that any activity that may cause contamination is being carried on—at any time during which the activity is being carried on there, and(b) any land at or from which the authorised officer reasonably suspects contamination has been, is being or is likely to be caused—at any time, and(c) any significantly contaminated land—at any time, and(d) any other premises—at any reasonable time.(2) A power to enter land conferred by this Act authorises entry by foot or by means of a motor vehicle or other vehicle, or in any other manner.(3) Entry may be effected under this Act by an authorised officer with the aid of such authorised officers or police officers as the authorised officer considers necessary and with the use of reasonable force.
This Division does not empower an authorised officer to enter any part of premises used only for residential purposes without the permission of the occupier or the authority of a search warrant under this Division.
(1) An authorised officer may, at any premises lawfully entered, do anything that in the opinion of the authorised officer is necessary to be done for the purposes of this Part, including (but not limited to) the things specified in subsection (2).(2) An authorised officer may do any or all of the following:(a) examine and inspect any apparatus, equipment, works, vehicle or plant,(b) take and remove samples,(c) make such examinations, inquiries and tests as the authorised officer considers necessary,(d) take such photographs, films, audio, video and other recordings as the authorised officer considers necessary,(e) require records to be produced for inspection,(f) examine, inspect and copy any records,(g) seize anything connected with an offence against this Act or the regulations,(h) do any other thing the authorised officer is empowered to do under this Part.
(1) Application for search warrant
An authorised officer under this Act may apply to an authorised officer within the meaning of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 for the issue of a search warrant if the authorised officer under this Act believes on reasonable grounds that a provision of this Act or the regulations is being or has been contravened at any premises.(2) Issue of search warrant
An authorised officer within the meaning of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 to whom such an application is made may, if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for doing so, issue a search warrant authorising an authorised officer under this Act named in the warrant:(a) to enter the premises, and(b) to exercise any function of an authorised officer under this Act under this Part.(3) Application of Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002
Division 4 of Part 5 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 applies to a search warrant issued under this section.(4) (Repealed)
(1) This section applies for the purpose of enabling an authorised officer to exercise any of the powers of an authorised officer under this Division in connection with any premises.(2) The EPA may, by notice in writing served on the occupier of the premises, require the person to provide such reasonable assistance and facilities as are specified in the notice within a specified time and in a specified manner.(3) Assistance and facilities can be required under this section, whether they are of the same kind as, or a different kind from, any prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.
In the exercise of a power of entering or searching premises under this Division, an authorised officer must do as little damage as possible.
The EPA must compensate all interested parties for any damage caused by an authorised officer in exercising a power of entering the premises (but not any damage caused by the exercise of any other power), unless the damage was unavoidable because the occupier of the premises obstructed or hindered the authorised officer in the exercise of the power of entry.
(1) An authorised officer may require a person whom the authorised officer suspects on reasonable grounds to have knowledge of matters in respect of which information is reasonably required for the purposes of this Part to answer questions in relation to those matters.(2) The EPA may, by notice in writing, require a body corporate to nominate, in writing within the time specified in the notice, a director or officer of the body corporate to be the body corporate’s representative for the purpose of answering questions under this section.(3) Answers given by a person nominated under subsection (2) bind the body corporate.
(1) A person who, without reasonable excuse, neglects or fails to comply with a requirement made of the person under this Part is guilty of an offence.(2) A person who furnishes any information or does any other thing in purported compliance with a requirement made under this Part, knowing that it is false or misleading in a material respect is guilty of an offence.(3) A person who wilfully delays or obstructs an authorised officer in the exercise of the authorised officer’s powers under this Part is guilty of an offence.(4) A person who impersonates an authorised officer is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty:(a) in the case of a corporation—1,250 penalty units, and in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty of 600 penalty units for each day the offence continues, or(b) in the case of an individual—600 penalty units, and in the case of a continuing offence, a further penalty of 300 penalty units for each day the offence continues.
(1) Warning to be given on each occasion
A person is not guilty of an offence of failing to comply with a requirement under this Part to furnish information or to answer a question unless the person was warned on that occasion that a failure to comply is an offence.(2) Self-incrimination not an excuse
A natural person is not excused from a requirement under this Part to furnish information or to answer a question on the ground that the information or answer might incriminate the person or make the person liable to a penalty.(3) Information not admissible if objection made
However, any information furnished or answer given by a natural person in compliance with a requirement under this Part is not admissible in evidence against the person in criminal proceedings (except proceedings for an offence under this Part) if:(a) the person objected at the time of furnishing the information or answering on the ground that the information or answer might incriminate the person, or(b) the person was not warned on that occasion that a failure to furnish the information or answer the question would be an offence and advised that the person might object on the ground that the information or answer might incriminate the person.(4) Further information
Further information obtained as a result of information furnished or of an answer given in compliance with a requirement under this Part is not inadmissible on the ground:(a) that the information had to be furnished or the answer had to be given, or(b) that the information furnished or answer given might incriminate the person.