Offences in Major Emergencies, Major Incidents or Disasters

The Government in South Australia has the power to declare Major Emergencies, Major Incidents and Disasters under the Emergency Management Act 2004 (SA) [ss 22-24A]. An example of one of these may be a catastrophic bushfire, flood, storm, earthquake or other emergency situation.

There are some specific offences under the Emergency Management Act 2004 (SA) which include:

  • Failure to comply with directions [s 28]:
    A person must not, without reasonable excuse, refuse or fail to comply with a requirement or direction of the State Co-ordinator (Commissioner of Police) or of an authorised officer given in accordance with this Act during a declared identified major incident, major emergency or disaster.
    Maximum penalty:
    (a) if the offender is a body corporate—$75 000
    (b) if the offender is a natural person—$20 000
  • Obstruction [s 29]
    A person must not hinder or obstruct operations carried out in accordance with this Act.
    Maximum penalty: $10 000
  • Impersonating an authorised officer etc [s 30]
    (1) A person must not falsely represent that he or she is an authorised officer or other person with responsibilities under this Act.
    Maximum penalty: $10 000.
    (2) A person must not, without lawful authority—
    (a) wear any insignia or special apparel issued to an authorised officer for the purposes of this Act; or
    (b) use any special equipment issued to an authorised officer for the purposes of this Act, in circumstances where to do so would lead to a reasonable belief that he or she was an authorised officer.
    Maximum penalty: $10 000.
  • Disclosure of information [s 31]
    (1) An authorised officer may direct a person who the authorised officer reasonably suspects has committed, is committing or is about to commit, an offence against this Act to state the person's full name and usual place of residence and to produce evidence of the person's identity.
    (2) A person to whom a direction is given under subsection (1) must immediately comply with the direction.
    Maximum penalty: $5 000
Offences in Major Emergencies, Major Incidents or Disasters  :  Last Revised: Mon Jan 5th 2015
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.
Link to sa.gov.au - find what you're looking for

© Legal Services Commission - All Rights Reserved
Funded with the support of the Governments of Australia and South Australia Website by CeRDI