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Making an Improper Entry into a Publicly Held Register

Making an improper entry into a publicly held register is an offence under section 336(2) 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 an entry into a register
  2. The register was kept by a public officer for a public purpose
  3. You knew the entry was false or misleading in a material particular, and
  4. You did so for an improper purpose.

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 Investments Commission, and
  4. The Department of Home Affairs.

A materially false or misleading particular may include a false name, date or other detail which could influence an outcome.

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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