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DEFENCE ACT 1903 - SECT 51A

Authorisation to search premises in specified area

             (1)  The Chief of the Defence Force, or an authorised Defence officer, (the authorising officer ) may give an authorisation (a search authorisation ) if, while the Defence Force is being utilised under a call out order, the authorising officer believes on reasonable grounds that, on any premises in the specified area, there is:

                     (a)  a person who is likely to pose a threat to:

                              (i)  any person's life, health or safety; or

                             (ii)  public health or public safety; or

                     (b)  a thing that is likely to:

                              (i)  pose a threat to any person's life, health or safety; or

                             (ii)  pose a threat to public health or public safety; or

                            (iii)  cause serious damage to property; or

                     (c)  a person or thing connected with the domestic violence or threat specified in the order.

Content of authorisation

             (2)  The search authorisation must:

                     (a)  authorise any member of the Defence Force who is being utilised under the call out order to enter and search:

                              (i)  all premises within the specified area; or

                             (ii)  specified premises within the specified area (including premises specified by referring to an area or a class of premises);

                            for the purpose of:

                            (iii)  finding the person or thing mentioned in subsection (1); or

                            (iv)  determining that the person or thing mentioned in subsection (1) is not on those premises; and

                     (b)  authorise any member conducting a search under the authorisation to seize any thing found on the premises in the course of the search that the member believes on reasonable grounds to be a thing that may be seized in relation to the call out order; and

                     (c)  state that, if any member conducting a search under the authorisation believes on reasonable grounds that a person who is at or near premises while the search is being carried out has any thing that may be seized in relation to the call out order in the person's possession, the member is authorised to:

                              (i)  search the person; and

                             (ii)  seize any thing found in the search that the member believes on reasonable grounds is a thing that may be seized in relation to the call out order; and

                     (d)  state that, if the member finds a person at or near premises in the course of a search under the authorisation whom the member believes on reasonable grounds to be a person who may be detained in relation to the call out order, the member is authorised to:

                              (i)  require the person to provide identification to the member; and

                             (ii)  detain the person for the purpose of placing the person in the custody of a member of a police force at the earliest practicable time; and

                     (e)  state the time during which the authorisation remains in force, which must not be more than 24 hours.

Note 1:       For the definitions of person who may be detained , search and thing that may be seized , see section 31.

Note 2:       See also sections 51P (persons to be informed of certain matters if detained) and 51Q (actions to be taken if things seized).

Effect of the authorisation

             (3)  The authorisation has effect according to its terms.

Further authorisations and powers

             (4)  Paragraph (2)(e) does not prevent the issue of further authorisations in relation to the same premises.

             (5)  To avoid doubt, a member of the Defence Force may exercise powers under Subdivision D in premises that are being searched in accordance with this section.

Authorisation of Defence officers

             (6)  The Chief of the Defence Force may, in writing, authorise a specified officer, or an officer in a specified class of officers, to be an authorised Defence officer.



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