Answering questions from Authorised Officers

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In short:
  • Like with the police, you only have to give your name and address.
  • You don’t have to answer any other questions from any authorised officers.
  • You have a right to remain silent or say ‘no comment’.
  • Like with the police, there is no such thing as an ‘off the record’ conversation.
  • Anything you say can be used against you if you are later charged and taken to court.

 

Name and address

Authorised officers can demand your name and address if they reasonably believe that you have committed (or are committing) an offence against the Act under which they are appointed.

Example 1:

Authorised DELWP officers can ask you for your name and address if they reasonably believe that you are committing an offence against the SPLA (s17) or the FA (s95A).

The authorised DELWP officer can demand that you provide evidence of you name and address (like your drivers licence), if they believe that the details you provide are false.

You must provide this evidence, unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, if you don’t have your wallet on you).

DELWP officers must tell you the grounds for their belief that you are committing or about to commit an offence under the FA (s95A), SPLA (s 17).

An authorised Council officer can demand your name and address if they reasonably suspect you have committed (or are about to commit) an offence against any Act, regulation or local law under which they are appointed to enforce under the LGA (s224(6)).

Council officers must tell you the grounds for their belief that you are committing or about to commit an offence under the (LGA (s 224(6A)).

Offences

Under the Forests Act and the Safety on Public Land Act, it is an offence to:

  • refuse to provide your name and address to an authorised officer,
  • provide false details, or
  • refuse to provide evidence of your details without reasonable excuse

You can be fined up to 5 penalty units (FA s95A(3); SPLA s17(3)).

The officer must identify themselves as an Authorised Officer and tell you that you will be committing an offence if you don’t give your name and address and ID.

 

Under the Local Government Act, it is an offence to:

  • refuse to provide your name and address to an authorised officer; or
  • provide false details.

You can be fined up to 60 penalty units (LGA (s 224(8)).

Getting their details

Usually, authorised officers must tell you their name and their status as an authorised officer.

For example, if an authorised DELWP officer asks for your name and address, they must also give you with proof of their identity if you ask (FA s 95B, SPLA s 17(6)).

Similarly, an authorised DELWP officer can’t order you to leave a public safety zone without first showing you proof of their identity and official status (SPLA s 14).

Authorised Council officers must, if you ask, produce their ID that has their photo, their signature and the signature of a member of Council (LGA ( s 224(4)).

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Answering questions from Authorised Officers

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