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Making a False Statement for Entry into a Public Register

Making a false statement for entry into a public register is an offence under section 336(1) of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You made a statement
  2. Your statement was related to an entry into a register kept by a public officer
  3. The register was kept for a public purpose
  4. You knew the statement was false or misleading in a material particular, and
  5. You did so for an improper purpose.

The statement may be oral or in writing.

A ‘public officer’ is any person working for a government department, statutory authority, local council or parliamentary body.

A register kept for a public purpose includes one kept by:

  1. The Roads and Maritime Service
  2. The Australian Taxation Office
  3. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, or
  4. The Department of Home Affairs.

A materially false or misleading statement may include providing a false name, date or other detail which could influence decision-making.

An ‘improper purpose’ may include seeking a licence, visa, tax status or company registration when you are not entitled to it.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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