If a person develops, field tests, imports or releases, possesses, or disposes of any new organism in breach of the HSNO Act or fails to comply with any controls relating to a new organism in any approval or regulation, that person is liable for any loss or damage caused, where or not the person intended the breach or was taking reasonable care when the breach occurred.
The person is not liable if they prove that one of the following defences: applies:
- The breach was necessary to save or protect life or health, to prevent serious damage to property, or to avoid actual or likely adverse effects on the environment, and the conduct of the defendant was reasonable in the circumstances, and the defendant took steps that were reasonable in all the circumstances to mitigate or remedy the effects of the breach after it occurred.
- The breach was due to an event beyond the control of the defendant (including natural disaster, mechanical failure, or sabotage) and the event could not reasonably have been foreseen or been provided against by the defendant, and the defendant took steps that were reasonable in all the circumstances to mitigate or remedy the effects of the breach after the event occurred.
- The defendant did not know, and could not have reasonably known of the breach.
Section 124G Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996
Section 124H Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996
Last updated at 12:22PM on February 25, 2015