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Part IA - General  

SECTION 4AA  Penalty units  


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In a law of the Commonwealth or a Territory Ordinance, unless the contrary intention appears:

penalty unit means the amount of $210 (subject to indexation under subsection (3)).


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If the amount of a penalty unit is indexed under subsection (3), the Minister must, by notifiable instrument, publish the amount of a penalty unit. However, a failure by the Minister to do so does not invalidate the indexation.


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In this section:

Territory Ordinance means an ordinance that:

(a) was made under an Act providing for the acceptance, administration or government of a Territory; and

(b) has not become an enactment of the Australian Capital Territory;

and includes a regulation made under such an ordinance.

Indexation of penalty unit


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On 1 July 2020 and each third 1 July following that day (an indexation day ), the dollar amount mentioned in subsection (1) is replaced by the amount worked out using the following formula:
Indexation factor
for the indexation day
×Dollar amount
immediately before the indexation day


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The indexation factor for an indexation day is the number worked out using the following formula:
Index number for the reference quarter
Index number for the base quarter


base quarter means the March quarter 3 years before the reference quarter.

index number , for a quarter, means the All Groups Consumer Price Index number (being the weighted average of the 8 capital cities) published by the Australian Statistician for that quarter.

March quarter means a quarter ending on 31 March.

reference quarter means the March quarter immediately before the indexation day.


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An indexation factor is to be calculated to 3 decimal places (rounding up if the fourth decimal place is 5 or more).


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Amounts worked out under subsection (3) are to be rounded to the nearest whole dollar (rounding 50 cents upwards).


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Calculations under subsection (4):

(a) are to be made using only the index numbers published in terms of the most recently published index reference period; and

(b) are to be made disregarding index numbers that are published in substitution for previously published index numbers (except where the substituted numbers are published to take account of changes in the index reference period).

Application of indexed penalty unit


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If the dollar amount mentioned in subsection (1) is increased in accordance with subsection (3), the increased amount only applies to offences committed on or after the indexation day.


This information is provided by CCH Australia Limited. View the disclaimer and notice of copyright.
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