Com­mon­wealth Penal­ty Units to Rise by end 2012

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.