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Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill

Introduced on May 3, 2016, the bill implements treaty obligations. It introduces new offences relating to maritime terrorism, the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction and the transportation of fugitives by ship. The Bill also introduces a maritime boarding regime which clarifies enforcement officers’ powers. Completed first reading debate on July 5 with all parties in support, though the Greens had some concerns the provisions might be applied to environmental protest groups. Sent to the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee for consideration. Reported back on Dec 7 with minor amendments. Amongst the changes were “avoidance of doubt” provisions. This specifies a peaceful act of protest or industrial action would not by itself, be a basis for criminal liability under the Act. Completed second reading debate on Feb 16, 2017 with all parties in agreement and the Greens satisfied with the amendments around protest activity. Committee stage completed on Dec 6 with all parties in support. Third reading completed on Dec 12.  Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill