13 December 2012 Commonwealth Penalty Units to Rise by end 2012

By Georgina King, Associate and Kelly Marshall, Solicitor

The monetary amount of penalties for offences under Commonwealth legislation are set to increase significantly by the end of 2012 under legislation recently passed by Parliament.

The legislation implementing the increase is contained in the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious Drugs, Identity Crime and Other Measures) Bill 2012, which was assented to on 28 November 2012. The effect of the legislation is that the value of penalty units imposed for offences under Commonwealth legislation will increase from $110.00 to $170.00. The amendments are said to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and they also provide for three-yearly reviews of penalty unit values going forward.

The increase will apply to penalties for offences under all Commonwealth legislation to which the penalty unit definition set out sub-section 4AA(1) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) applies. This includes for example, offences under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).

The increases are due to take effect by 28 December 2012, and will only apply to offences committed after the commencement of the new penalty unit value.

Kelly Marshall, Associate  |  Phone: +61 2 9233 5544  |  Email:

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This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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