This chapter outlines the provisions of the bill in more detail,
discusses the issues raised by submitters about the proposed amendments and
outlines the committee's view.
Submitters to the inquiry were generally supportive of the bill's
measures to implement the reforms arising from the Report on the Statutory
Review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006
and Associated Rules and Regulations (Report on the Statutory Review).
However, specific concerns were raised in relation to the following
the scope of the legislation;
definitions in the bill;
search and seizure powers for police and customs officials;
the conferral of powers to the AUSTRAC Chief Executive Officer
strict liability offences;
the introduction of a digital currency exchange; and
the limits of the legislation in tacking international money
Scope of the proposed legislation
In the Explanatory Memorandum (EM), the bill is described as
significantly widening the scope of the Anti-Money Laundering and
Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (the AML/CTF Act).
The bill would provide the basis for the regulation of certain
businesses by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC),
the Australian financial intelligence unit that collects information about the
movement of money in the private sector, and money carried by travellers
entering or leaving Australia.
AUSTRAC also shares financial intelligence with designated agencies (including
Commonwealth agencies and international counterparts) 'in order to combat money
laundering (ML), terrorism financing (TF) and other serious crime'.
The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) noted in its submission that
the phrase 'other serious crimes' is used in the bill, but the words 'serious
financial crimes' are currently used in the AML/CTF Act.
The ABA questioned the use of this phrase, stating that:
The scope of the Act should be to detect, deter and disrupt
money laundering, the financing of terrorism, and other serious financial
crimes, but should not be more broadly applied to the deterrence of all 'serious
crimes'. The ABA is unclear as to the reasons why the legislation is to be
broadened beyond "serious financial crimes", as the regulatory need
to justify such a large expansion has not been made. The Bill, as it stands
will generate new and substantial regulatory costs for all of AUSTRAC's
reporting entities (REs), not just banks, regardless of size.
The ABA stated that the expanded scope of the phrase 'other serious
crimes' would result in every relevant organisation being required to expand
their transaction monitoring scenarios to include crimes of a non-financial
nature. The ABA argued that this result would necessitate a longer transition
period than is currently contained in the bill.
Given this, the ABA recommended changing all references to 'serious
crimes' to 'serious financial crimes'.
Submitters raised a number of issues regarding the bill's proposed
amendments to the definitions of terms in the AML/CTF Act, including:
the definition of 'stored value card' (SVC);
the definition of 'in the course of carrying on a business';
the definition of 'signatory';
the definition of 'article'.
Definition of 'stored value card'
The bill would replace the definition of SVC in the AML/CTF Act. The EM
states that this amendment has been made to 'provide industry with greater
guidance as to what a SVC can include, while remaining broad, inclusive and
sufficiently flexible to cover virtual cards'.
The EM expands on the new definition:
This new definition of SVC encompasses all things, whether
real or virtual, that store monetary value in a form other than physical
currency, or that give access to value stored in a form other than a physical
currency. This is substantially similar to paragraph (a) of the previous
definition of stored value card, but is technically neutral and includes SVCs
that are entirely virtual and do not exist as a physical card. The requirement
to prescribe kinds of SVCs in regulations is removed.
The EM further notes that credit and debit cards are excluded from the
definition of the bill, and continue to be regulated by a separate part of the
AML/CTF Act. However, it states that certain kinds of SVCs are not captured by
the exclusion, such as pre-paid travel cards using credit card networks but not
linked to an account provided by a financial institution.
The Law Council of Australia (Law Council) noted that an 'unhelpful'
distinction is drawn in the bill between the existing definition of 'debit
cards' and the replacement definition:
[T]he distinction drawn by the existing definition and the
replacement definition with 'debit cards' is unhelpful, as both debit cards and
the great majority of prepaid cards in the market, have value stored in a
ledger managed by the issuer. That is, although value is in all cases 'stored',
the only place in practice where that 'storage' can be said to occur is in a
ledger managed by the issuer. The sole distinction becomes whether the issuer
is a 'financial institution' (in which case the stored value card definition
would apparently not apply, given the inclusive definition of 'account'), or is
not a 'financial institution' (in which case the product is able to be a 'stored
The Law Council stated that it did not consider that the policy basis of
drawing a distinction based only on the status of the card issuer had been
comprehensively explained in the EM or the bill.
It argued that, while the EM attempted to make a distinction between SVCs and 'debit
cards', they could not be adequately distinguished, particularly in relation to
many 'gift cards' and 'travel' cards which had value stored in and debited from
an account with the issuer.
The Law Council recommended that the bill provide greater clarity
regarding SVCs issued by financial institutions.
Definition of 'in the course of
carrying on a business'
The bill would qualify the term 'in the course of carrying on a business'
which already exists in the AML/CTF Act. The EM notes that consultation with
industry during the review of the Act had revealed 'widespread concern'
regarding the breadth of the definition that it 'could potentially capture
businesses that provided such services incidental to their core function, or on
a very occasional basis'.
However, the Law Council expressed concerns with the new definition,
noting that it is inconsistent with the replacement explanatory memorandum of
the AML/CTF Act:
We say that the Anti-Money Laundering and
Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 should be amended to specifically
reflect the original intention that a reference in section 6 to a particular
kind of business is intended to limit the broad scope of the defined term 'business'
so that it applies only when the specified business is a core function or a
substantive part of the operations of the relevant entity.
The Attorney General's Department (AGD) stated that it was not
anticipated that the amendment was likely to affect a significant number of
entities, as there was frequently an overlap between entities that provide
designated services. 
Definition of 'signatory'
The bill seeks to amend the definition of 'signatory'. The EM explains
that the current definition of 'signatory' is considered too broad in practice,
which has given rise to uncertainty. It states that the new definition will provide
The new definition focuses on the account holder and persons
who have been authorised by the account holder to manage or exercise effective
control over an account. This definition excludes persons who may 'instruct' an
account provider where this is incidental to a specific transaction or
transactions, in circumstances that fall short of management or control of the
The ABA noted that the proposed definition may cause uncertainty
regarding the types of scenarios and parties are intended to be captured. It
recommended providing examples of such scenarios and parties to clarify its
intended application. 
Definition of 'article'
Nyman Gibson Miralis expressed concern that the word 'article' used in
the proposed section 199(3) is not defined either in the bill or in the AML/CTF
It stated that the word 'article' could be broadly interpreted to
include items such as laptops, smart phones, tablets or smart watches.
However, this was unclear in the EM and the bill. Moreover, they noted that the
bill did not clarify whether the ability to seize items such as laptops or
smartphones would also include the power to compel the provision of passwords
Nyman Gibson Miralis further noted the human rights implications of such
a power to potentially compel the disclosure of personal information:
Notwithstanding entrenched human rights principles of a
person's right to the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy, it
cannot be Parliament's intention that Police can have unchecked and unlimited
powers to search, seize, and force disclosure of a suspected person's personal
information (such as passwords, or disclosure of pseudonym identities) without
The submission further noted that material obtained in such searches could
be susceptible to court actions seeking to declare the searches invalid and
Nyman Gibson Miralis recommended that the term 'articles' be explicitly
defined, including the kinds of classes of articles that are intended to be
Search and seizure powers
The bill would broaden the search and seizure powers available to police
and customs officers at Australian borders. The EM states that the bill will:
...give police and customs officers broader powers to search
and seize physical currency and bearer negotiable instruments (BNI) and
establish civil penalties for failing to comply with questioning and search
This would enable police and customs officials to demand to know how
much money is being brought into or leaving Australia by travellers as well as
order that money is produced upon demand. The EM provides a contextual
background to the powers and the gaps experienced by law enforcement that the
amendment seeks to address:
Police and customs officers do not have general search and
seizure powers at the border under the AML/CTF Act. Instead, the search and
seizure powers under the AML/CTF Act are linked to breaches of the current
reporting requirements for physical currency and BNIs.
This leaves gaps in the ability of police and customs
officers to search and seize physical currency and BNIs under the AML/CTF Act
(e.g. in circumstances where a person is carrying physical currency under the
$10,000 threshold, or has not been asked to disclose whether they are carrying
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) told the committee that search and
seizure powers are currently limited to suspecting a breach of the cross-border
The Law Council noted their concern regarding the increase in search and
seizure powers for police and customs officers:
It ... troubles us that with that goes the substantial increase
in search-and-seizure power and the fact that that, as the scrutiny committee
referred to, is invested, so far as we can see, in any police member and any
member of Customs. Now, that is a significant power to invest in a person of that
rank, where it is quite open, for example, with police to invest that power in
a commissioned officer to give consent to the search and seizure—I don't think
the term 'commissioned officer' was adopted by the committee, but they referred
to senior members. So that's a corresponding concern about significant power
being invested or devolved without check, necessarily, or balance.
The Law Council observed that the bill's expansion of powers is granted
to officers indiscriminately, and does not take account of experience. It also
stated that senior commissioned officers are regularly asked to authorise the
use of search and seizure powers at the border, and therefore that the proposed
amendments do not provide enough reason to arm all officers with those powers.
The EM stated that the Guide to Framing Commonwealth Offences (the
Guide) recommends that seizure powers should generally only be permitted under
a warrant, but that the Guide 'contemplates a limited range of situations where
it may be appropriate to allow officers the ability to seize pending issue of
warrant, such as situations involving conveyances where it may not be possible
or practical to obtain a warrant'.
The EM further states:
The exercise of the new search and seizure powers in the Bill
will be time-limited to instances where a person is departing or recently
arrived in Australia and can be justified due to the impracticalities of
obtaining a warrant in such circumstances.
The specific terminology of the Guide provides that:
There is a very limited range of circumstances where it may
be appropriate to allow officers the ability to seize pending issue of warrant.
The Scrutiny of Bills Committee regards that entry onto premises without
consent may be reasonable in situations of emergency, serious danger to public
health, or where national security is involved. Seizure in such circumstances
would only be appropriate where reasonably necessary to resolve a situation of
The Scrutiny of Bills Committee did not agree with the interpretation of
the Guide in the EM. The Committee stated:
The explanatory memorandum appears to reinterpret [the Guide]
to say that the Guide contemplates there is a limited range of circumstances
where it may be appropriate to allow for seizure, such as where it may not be
possible or practical to obtain a warrant. The [Scrutiny of Bills Committee] does
not consider this is the appropriate test and affirms its scrutiny view that
seizure should only take place under a warrant, unless seizure is necessary to
resolve a situation of immediate emergency.
The Scrutiny of Bills Committee observed that it was possible to provide
that a police or customs officer may, without a warrant, secure an item pending
issue of a warrant authorising seizure, and that this approach had not been
taken in the bill. It further noted that provisions in the Act currently give
certain powers to police and customs officers to seize such items, albeit in
more limited circumstances.
However, the EM further notes that the Guide suggests that searches
without warrants may be permitted in situations where national security is in
question. It states that the movement of physical currency and bearer
negotiable instruments across national borders is a recognised money-laundering
and terrorism-financing risk, which would satisfy the Guide's requirement.
The EM also stated that the powers were proportionate to the aims of the
The measures are proportionate because they broaden existing
powers in order to deter ML and TF, do not constitute a radical departure from
current search and seizure powers and assist authorities in ensuring that
Australia's AML/CTF framework is robust in the face of the threat of serious
crime and terrorism.
Civil penalties for refusing to
comply with questioning and search powers
The bill would establish a civil penalty for refusing to comply with certain
questioning and search powers. It sets out a number of requirements for persons
leaving Australia and persons entering Australia to provide information when it
is requested of them by police or customs officers.
The EM notes that the current provisions contain criminal penalties for
offences under sections 199 and 200 of the AML/CTF Act for failing to comply
with questioning and search powers in relation to the cross-border declaration
It further states that:
The availability of a civil penalty would provide a wider
range of options for law enforcement officers to respond to such breaches and
assist in ensuring these penalties remain proportionate.
Nyman Gibson Miralis expressed concern that the application of a civil
penalty for refusing to give certain information to police or customs officers
may contravene the common law privilege against self-incrimination.
Powers conferred on the AUSTRAC CEO
The bill would confer a significant number of new powers upon the
AUSTRAC CEO. In particular, the bill provides that the delegated legislation in
the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules (AML/CTF Rules)
may make provision for the suspension and renewal of registrations by the
AUSTRAC CEO. Additionally, the bill would enable the AUSTRAC CEO to make rules
to expand or narrow the scope of the digital currency definition.
Some submitters welcomed the use of delegated legislation in 'future-proofing'
the AML/CTF Act. Mr Aidan O'Shaughnessy, Acting Executive Director, Industry
Policy, Australian Bankers' Association, stated that:
The ABA is supportive of having the further definition within
the rules because it will just give AUSTRAC and the Attorney-General
flexibility to deal with emerging technologies or changes in environments that
emerge over the coming years.
Mr O'Shaughnessy further observed that the proposed use of the AML/CTF
rules would enable AGD to make amendments in a timely manner.
The Law Council put forth concerns regarding the broad principle of
taking a judicial or quasi-judicial function and investing it in the CEO.
Mr Charles Morland Bailes, President-Elect, Law Council of Australia, stated:
Going to the detail of it: if, for example, you take
infringement notices, there is no capacity for internal review of an
infringement notice, so a person so served either pays up or attracts potential
action, prosecution, initiation of an action in respect of the offence. That is
a considerable investment in executive power in the office of the CEO of
AUSTRAC that we find unsettling when there is no capacity for external review
but also, coming back to the original principle, the substantial devolution of
power that might otherwise be held by a tribunal or a court into that office.
The Scrutiny of Bills Committee raised concerns regarding the bill's use
of delegated legislation. It particularly noted that leaving certain issues to
be decided by the AUSTRAC CEO may leave a number of important matters to be
decided by AML/CTF rules, including the grounds on which suspension decisions
are made and whether such decisions should be subject to review.
The Scrutiny of Bills Committee advised that, as a general principle,
significant matters should be included in primary legislation unless there is a
sound justification for the use of delegated legislation. In the case of this
bill, the Scrutiny committee noted that a number of significant matters were
delegated to rules, and that there was no appropriate reason given in the EM.
The committee advised that the matters should be provided for in regulations as
a minimum, due to a higher level of executive scrutiny being applied to
regulations as opposed to rules.
The Scrutiny of Bills Committee further stated that it has requested more
detailed advice from the Minister in relation to a number of matters regarding
the renewal and suspension of registrations.
AGD and AUSTRAC told the committee that, while they were unable to
provide details regarding the specific content of the rules, the rules were to
be drafted and would be finalised after the bill's passage.
AGD also noted that the use of delegated legislation was recommended by the
Report on the Statutory Review and is anticipated to be used in further reforms.
It is also noted that all AML/CTF rules are subject to disallowance, and
so will be subject to appropriate Parliamentary scrutiny. The Explanatory
[AML/CTF Rules] are legislative instruments within the
meaning of section 8 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.
Accordingly, AML/CTF Rules must be tabled in Parliament and are subject to
disallowance by either House.
The bill would expand the infringement notice provisions of the AML/CTF
Act to 'include a wider range of offences established under the AML/CTF Act
that are regulatory in nature'.
This expansion applies to a number of civil penalty provisions.
The bill also contains safeguards to ensure that the AUSTRAC CEO cannot issue
an infringement notice for 'trivial matters', with a set of prescribed considerations
to be taken into account in each case.
The purpose of these provisions is to implement changes recommended by
the Report on the Statutory Review, which suggested adding eleven minor
regulatory offences. This was purported to:
...give the AUSTRAC CEO additional, more expedient and
efficient means for promoting and encouraging compliance as an alternative to
applying for a civil penalty order through the Federal Court.
The Uniting Church in Australia (the Uniting Church) supported the
proposed increase in powers for the AUSTRAC CEO to provide additional
enforcement options to ensure compliance. It cited criminological literature
arguing that the perceived certainty of punishment is associated with reduced
However, the Law Council noted that an infringement notice was set as a
maximum penalty, which was 'substantial'.
It further indicated that an infringement notice was not reviewable or subject
to an appeal, and so should be reconsidered.
Sharing of information with
The bill would provide that the AUSTRAC CEO's functions extend to
providing access to, and the sharing of, AUSTRAC information to support
domestic and international efforts to combat money laundering, terrorism
financing and other serious crime.
The Minister stated in the second reading speech that the bill would:
[provide] access to, and the sharing of, AUSTRAC information
to support domestic and international efforts to combat and disrupt money
laundering, terrorism financing and other serious crimes...
The Uniting Church expressed support for the proposed increase in
information-sharing between agencies, stating that:
It is our view that the anti-money laundering and
counter-terrorism financing system would be more robust if the ability of those
attempting to launder money or finance terrorism had less chances to try
multiple entry points to get the money into the system because there was better
sharing of information between reporting entities.
King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) were similarly supportive of proposed
information-sharing provisions, informing the committee that reporting entities
that are part of multinational corporate groups are currently unable to
escalate potential money laundering or terrorism financing issues to senior
management and specialised personnel due to the prohibition in the AML/CTF Act on
disclosure of their suspicions to anyone other than AUSTRAC.
However, KWM noted that the bill as drafted does not allow disclosure within a
multinational corporate group as the definition of a 'reporting entity' does
not extend to an offshore head office or company.
KWM recommends a range of amendments to the bill to address this issue,
inserting 'or a corporate group' after 'designated business group'
in paragraph 123(7)(a);
inserting 'or to a body corporate that belongs to the corporate
group (as the case may be)' after 'designated business group' in paragraph
adding a definition of a 'corporate group' at the end of section
Nyman Gibson Miralis raised concerns regarding the proposed increase of
AUSTRAC's functions to share information with overseas agencies:
The Bill is silent on how the sharing of Australian citizens'
information will reconcile with the statutory protections in the Privacy Act
1988 (Cth). There is also a lack of oversight from any organisation
(nationally or internationally) that controls what information can lawfully be
shared. This oversight is amplified considering an accused person has an
entrenched human right to privacy.
Nyman Gibson Miralis noted that the provision of information to overseas
jurisdictions may have consequences on individuals that 'would not be tolerated
in Australian society'.
It recommends a uniform approach to the dissemination of intelligence to foreign
law enforcement, including the application of express limits on the use of
information and protection from misuse.
Strict liability offences
The bill amends the AML/CTF Act to establish a number of civil penalties
in relation to an unregistered person providing digital currency exchange
services, which are all subject to strict liability.
This means that the offences are subject to penalty regardless of
intention. The EM states that the application of strict liability means:
...it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove an
associated fault element—such
as intention, knowledge, recklessness or negligence—for these physical
A number of concerns were raised by submitters. When questioned about
the explanation supporting the strict liability offences provided by the EM,
the Law Council submitted that:
...as a matter of principle, the Law Council does not welcome
the notion of strict liability offences, more particularly, when it involves
the potential for long periods of imprisonment. With an aggravated offence, the
maximum penalty goes from two years to four years, and I think that, if the
AUSTRAC CEO has given more than one notice, it's into a more aggravated
category and it's a maximum of seven years. Given that there is no defence at
common law—other than the defence of a reasonable mistake of fact, which
carries with it certain requirements for the defence to establish—that is
It was further observed by the Law Council that a strict liability
offence does not differentiate between intentional behaviour and recklessness
or reckless indifference, which is usually of lesser culpability and thus
reflected in a lesser sentence.
The Scrutiny of Bills Committee also stated that strict liability
offences should only be used where a clear justification can be provided for
Under general principles of the criminal law, fault is
required to be proved before a person can be found guilty of a criminal offence
(ensuring that criminal liability is imposed only on persons who are
sufficiently aware of what they are doing and the consequences it may have).
When a bill states that an offence is one of strict liability, this removes the
requirement for the prosecution to prove the defendant's fault. In such cases,
an offence will be made out if it can be proven that the defendant engaged in
certain conduct, without the prosecution having to prove that the defendant
intended this, or was reckless or negligent. As the imposition of strict
liability undermines fundamental criminal law principles, the committee expects
the explanatory memorandum to provide a clear justification for any imposition
of strict liability, including outlining whether the approach is consistent
with the Guide to Framing Commonwealth Offences.
The Explanatory Memorandum notes that section 9.2 of the Criminal
...allows a defence of honest and reasonable mistake of fact to
be raised for strict liability offences. Under this defence, a defendant must
turn his or her mind to the existence of the facts and be under a mistaken, but
reasonable, belief about those facts. This defence would be applicable to the
strict liability provisions in the Bill.
Digital currency exchange
The bill seeks to introduce a new designated service and register in order
to regulate digital currency exchange, to be introduced within six months of
the bill's commencement.
AGD informed the committee that this aspect of the bill reflects
technological advancements in digital currency. It noted that the current
regulatory regime under the AML/CTF Act was designed in 2006 and applies only
to an 'e-currency', which is 'backed by a physical thing. It excludes
convertible digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, which are backed by a
The AGD also noted that the regulatory gap had an impact on the
legitimacy and public perception of digital currency. It stated that it had
been advised that many businesses and financial institutions hold concerns
regarding the risks of dealing with digital currency and choose not to accept
or use it as a method of payment.
AGD observed that the Report on the Statutory Review recommended the
application of the AML/CTF Act and the Regulations to digital currencies and
digital exchange providers. It further pointed out that this recommendation was
consistent with reports that considered best practice in oversight of digital
currencies by the Senate Economics References Committee in 2015 and the
Productivity Commission's 2015 report.
The Law Council expressed concerns at the six-month timeframe proposed
to introduce the reforms. It stated that AUSTRAC should be encouraged to:
...provide very early guidance on any proposed exemptions (such
as the $1,000 'low value' relief offered for over-the-counter physical currency
Living Room of Satoshi submitted that the application of AML/CTF
regulations on low value payments would be a significant hindrance to retail
businesses that accept payments under $1000 in digital currency form. It
submitted that an exemption for low value payments should be included as part
of the bill to limit the impact on small businesses.
Nyman Gibson Miralis stated in their submission that the bill is not
clear on whether it will capture individuals exchanging a digital currency
outside Australia. It notes in its submission that digital currencies could transcend
Australian laws, and individuals may be able to circumvent the proposed
amendments by seeking to exchange with a currency provider outside Australia's
The proposed legislative amendments do not seem to
contemplate for the likely scenario that an individual can simply choose to
exchange with a digital currency provider outside of Australia's national
jurisdiction, one where the rule of law and reporting requirements in according
with [Financial Action Task Force] guidelines are not adhered to stringently.
In light of the highly mobile nature of offshore criminal networks, this is a
matter that does not appear to have been adequately considered.
The committee understands that the bill's provisions would be the first
phase in a multi-staged reform effort to update the Commonwealth anti-money laundering
and counter-terrorism financing regime. As has been demonstrated by previous
Senate committee reports, the Productivity Commission's report and the
Statutory Review into the AML/CTF Act, these reforms are sorely needed in order
to adequately reflect the role digital currency plays in the modern economy.
The committee notes that submitters were generally positive about the
intent and provisions of the bill, and the contribution it would make to
preventing money-laundering and terrorism financing, in addition to improving the
legislative framework governing digital currency.
The committee also heard from some submitters who expressed concern
about the changes to definitions and potential resulting uncertainty. Considering
the intention of the reforms is in part to provide clarity in the AML/CTF Act,
the committee is of the view that these definitional issues should be addressed
prior to the bill's passage, and recommends that the government consider whether
the terms over which concerns were raised could be better defined.
The committee recommends that the government consider whether the terms 'article',
'stored value card' and 'in the course of carrying on a business' in the bill
and Explanatory Memorandum, could be better defined with a view to addressing
the uncertainty expressed by some submitters, and amendments where relevant.
The committee notes the concerns raised by submitters regarding the
breadth of the powers granted under the bill to police and customs officials at
the border. However, the committee observes that this expansion of powers was
recommended by the Report on the Statutory Review to ensure that police and
customs officials are able to efficiently seize laundered funds or money
intended for terrorism-related purposes. It therefore considers that these powers
strike an appropriate balance between the right to privacy and the need to
effectively detect and prosecute money-laundering and terrorism.
The committee also recognises the concerns put forward by submitters
regarding the expanded powers of the AUSTRAC CEO.
The committee understands that the new powers granted to the AUSTRAC
CEO, including the power to make rules, would be subject to review and
oversight in several ways.
Most importantly, the committee understands from the Explanatory
Memorandum that all AML/CTF Rules must be tabled in Parliament therefore subject
to disallowance by either house, and this would allow appropriate scrutiny,
review and safeguards to be put in place.
The committee also understands that many of decisions made by the
AUSTRAC CEO regarding imposing conditions, the issue of civil penalties, or
cancelling or preventing registrations would be reviewable, including under the
review provisions of Part 17A of the AML/CTF Act. Regarding concerns
raised by submitters on strict liability, the committee understands that this
would not preclude the defence of honest and reasonable mistake of fact to be
raised, as is made clear by the Explanatory Memorandum, and are so compatible
with Commonwealth guidelines.
On balance, the committee considers that the bill would bring about an improvement
in the operation of the AML/CTF Act, and thereby assist in Australia's efforts
to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, and so should be passed.
The committee recommends that the bill be passed.
Senator David Fawcett
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