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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Infringement information

This web page provides information about how the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (the Department) enforces compliance against people alleged to have committed an offence under the following primary legislation and their subsidiary regulations:

  • Fish Resources Management Act 1994
  • Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007
  • Animal Welfare Act 2002

The role of compliance officers is to detect and investigate offences committed (or alleged) under its fisheries, biosecurity, and animal welfare legislation.

Compliance officers may use one of the following three key enforcement tools when you are alleged to have committed an offence:

  1. issue a written warning
  2. issue an infringement notice
  3. take prosecution action

Written warning

A written warning is issued for minor offences. They are not mandated or enforceable by law in Western Australia. You do not pay a penalty, acquire a criminal conviction on your record, and nor are you required to attend court.

If you commit a similar offence a second or subsequent time, you may be issued with an infringement notice or prosecution action may be taken against you in court.

You cannot dispute a written warning as it is not enforceable by law, and it does not attract a financial penalty or criminal conviction. However, the Department may do one of the following after you have been issued with a written warning:

  • withdraw the written warning and that is the end of the matter
  • withdraw the written warning and instead, issue an infringement notice or take prosecution action.

If you are issued with a written warning, you do not have to do anything except heed the warning.

In some States, a written warning is called a caution. Our Department uses a written warning to avoid any confusion with the legal caution a compliance officer must provide to you to remind you of your rights as an alleged offender.

Infringement notice

An infringement notice is issued for minor offences and attracts a fine as a penalty. If a compliance officer issues you with an infringement notice, a range of options might be available to you in dealing with the matter:

  1. pay the penalty
  2. elect to have the matter heard in court
  3. request an internal review

Pay the penalty

You may pay the penalty as prescribed on the infringement notice and that will be the end of the matter. An offence dealt with by way of an infringement notice will not result in a criminal conviction if you pay the amount stated on the infringement notice without electing to go to court.

Instructions on how to pay your infringement notice are provided on the reverse side of the infringement notice.

Elect to have the matter heard in court

You may elect to have your infringement notice heard in court by completing the appropriate section on the reverse side of the infringement notice.

Once your election to go to court is received by the Department, you will be issued a court notice. The matter will be listed at a specified court along with the date and time, this information is provided on the court notice you receive.

However, before you elect to go to court, it is advisable that you seek legal advice.

Further information on going to court can be found on the Department of Justice website​.

Request an internal review

Grounds for requesting a review

You may request an internal review of the decision to issue you with an infringement notice if you believe the decision:

  • was contrary to law
  • was based on a mistake of identity
  • ignored exceptional circumstances relating to the conduct that resulted in the infringement notice

To provide further clarity, exceptional circumstances do not include that:

  • you are sorry for committing the offence and promise not to do it again
  • you did not know the law (it is your responsibility to know all the rules regarding your intended activities)
  • you are experiencing financial hardship
  • you have not committed an offence before
  • you are suffering from a medical illness or condition
  • the fine is too expensive (penalties are prescribed and cannot be changed by the Department)
  • you believe you have been treated unfairly because you received the infringement notice in the first place

How to request an internal review

If you believe you meet one of the grounds for review, you may request an internal review. Your request must be in writing and be accompanied by a statement and any documentary evidence you seek to rely on in support of your ground/s for review.

If your request is valid, the Department will acknowledge receipt of your application and it will be submitted to an independent person within the Department for review. 

The due date for paying the Infringement will be suspended until the review is complete.  A review request can be emailed to the Compliance Governance and Prosecutions section at

Be very clear and specific as to why you are requesting an internal review and make sure you meet the grounds for review before writing a request.

What happens after the internal review?

When an internal review is completed, the following action may be taken:

  • the decision to issue the infringement notice is confirmed and a new payment date set, or
  • the infringement notice is withdrawn and no further action is taken, or
  • the infringement notice is withdrawn and an official warning notice is issued, or
  • the infringement notice is withdrawn and prosecution action is taken in court

You will be given written notice of the outcome once the internal review is completed.

What if I fail to pay on time, refuse to pay or ignore an infringement notice?

Do not ignore an infringement notice if you are issued with one. It will not go away.

If you cannot pay the infringement notice by the due date, you may request an extension of time to pay by contacting the Compliance Governance and Prosecutions section at immediately. If you do not contact the Department and fail to pay the penalty by the due date as prescribed on the infringement notice, a Final Demand Notice will be issued to you where an additional cost will need to be paid.

If you then fail to pay the Final Demand Notice by the due date, the Department will register the matter with the Fines Enforcement Registry for further action.

Under the Fines, Penalties and Infringement Notices Enforcement Act 1994, when a matter is registered with the Fines Enforcement Registry, the following action can occur:

  • your driver’s licence may be suspended or cancelled
  • your details may be published on a website
  • your vehicle may be immobilised or have its number plates removed
  • your property may be seized and sold

If the matter is registered with the Fines Enforcement Registry, additional costs will also apply.

If you are ever in doubt as to whether you should or should not pay the penalty, elect to go to court, or request an internal review, then you should seek legal advice.

Prosecution action

Prosecution action will occur:

  • if you have been issued with an infringement notice and you elect to go to court, or
  • if you were initially issued with an written warning or infringement notice and the Department reviews the matter and withdraws that written warning or infringement notice to take prosecution action instead, or
  • when you are alleged to have committed an offence that the Department determines will be dealt with by way of prosecution action in court.

You will receive a notice to attend court on a specified date and time, which you must attend. Instructions and additional information are accompanied with the court notice.

If you choose not to attend court or forget to attend court, the court might take further action against you.

In all cases, it is strongly advisable that you seek legal advice if you receive a notice to attend court.

Contact details

For further information, please contact the Department’s Compliance Governance and Prosecutions section:


Telephone: 08 9203 0229

Mail: Compliance Governance and Prosecutions Section

Locked Bag 4, Bentley Delivery Centre



Last modified: 19/02/2024 1:43 PM

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