Friday, January 07, 2005

Vegetation management in Queensland – a Case of Constitutional Vandalism
More in IPA review

Suri Ratnapala, Professor of Law and Director, Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law, T C Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland
The guilt of a person accused of a vegetation clearing offence under the VMA is determined not by a court but by an official. (The judicial trials mandated by Division 3 have no application to vegetation clearing offences under the VMA). If an authorised officer issues a compliance notice, a failure to comply without a reasonable excuse results in an automatic penalty. (Maximum of 1665 penalty units or $ 116,550 - s.55) The innocuous term ‘compliance notice’ masks what is actually a straightforward conviction and sentence without trial.
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The legislation I examine is Queensland’s Vegetation Management Act 1999 (VMA)

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