Protected Area at 1 Moore Street, Civic (Health Act 1993)
The ACT Government has established a protected area around the building at 1 Moore Street in Civic. This building accommodates both ACT Health community health services and other privately-run health services.
The protected area will assist to prevent behaviours that act to increase emotional distress and prevent women from accessing family planning and sexual health services, including abortion. In the ACT, abortion is a legal and medically recognised health procedure.
The protected area will also ensure that staff and patients entering or leaving the building can do so without interference, prejudice or intimidation from protesters.
The map below outlines the protected area around 1 Moore Street in Civic (as of 19 May 2016):
Note: The protected area comprises of the following blocks, sections, road and road related areas:
- Section 1, blocks 35, 36, 39, 40 and 41
- Section 2, block 3
- Section 31, blocks 3, 4 and 9
- Section 32, blocks 1, 2 and 3
- Rudd Street
- Mulwala Lane
- Moore Street
- Alinga Street
- West Row
- Odgers Lane
This prohibition applies between the hours of 7:00 am and 6:00 pm on business days. Public holidays are exempt.
It is an offence to engage in prohibited behaviour including protesting, displaying signage, making verbal comments or capturing of visual data that is intended to prevent or hinder people entering or leaving premises at 1 Moore Street.
If people are found protesting around or within the building of 1 Moore Street, security staff will inform them of the prohibition associated within the protected area, and they will be asked to leave. If they continue to protest, ACT Police will be contacted and penalties may apply.
A regulation has been developed as part of the new legislation, allowing two new offences at s87 of the Health Act 1993 to be enforced and administered as part of the ACT’s criminal infringement notice scheme. The administering authority for an infringement notice will be the Chief Police Officer of the ACT.
One of the two offences includes engaging in prohibited behaviour in a protected area. This will carry a maximum financial penalty of $3,750 and a maximum penalty of 25 penalty units. The other offence relates to the publishing without consent, of captured visual data with the intention of stopping a person from having or providing an abortion. This offence will carry a maximum financial penalty of $7,500 and a maximum penalty of 50 penalty units and/or imprisonment of six months.
In the ACT, the accepted infringement notice is 20 percent of the maximum offence penalty. This equates to $750 or $1,500 financial penalties for individuals, and for corporations it will be five times the amount.