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Subpoenas for Production


The information below is provided as a guide to those parties contemplating the issue of a subpoena for production to the Port Authority of New South Wales where the Port Authority is not a party to the proceedings.

1 Conduct Money

Before a Court will act to enforce a subpoena, the party requesting the production of documents must tender an appropriate amount of "conduct money".  A non-party to proceedings is entitled to be paid for its loss and expense in complying with the subpoena.  The amount tendered must cover the "reasonable expenses" that might be incurred in searching for and producing the documents to the Court.

Conduct money should generally be paid to the Port Authority at the time the subpoena is served.  If the correct conduct money is not tendered when a subpoena is served, the Port Authority will seek payment of the balance due after service is accepted.  Cheques should be made payable to "Port Authority of New South Wales".

In matters where significant resources need to be committed by the Port Authority to comply with the subpoena, an estimate of the proposed fee will be calculated using the rate cards set out below.  In such circumstances, the issuing party will be advised of the fee.  A written undertaking to pay the fee must be provided by the issuing party.  Payment of the fee will be required preferably, prior to production or immediately following production of the material.  It is suggested that an issuing party should consider carefully the scope of a subpoena.

1.1 General Rate Card


Rate per hour AUD



Senior Manager


General Manager


Executive Manager

$190.00 - $220.00



Project Manager




Marine Officer


Office support


Executive Assistant


Team/Administration Assistant



10 cents per page

*Rates per hour as extracted from Robert Walters Global Salary Survey 2014

1.2 Vessel Traffic System (VTS) CCTV Recording Production Rate Card

The CCTV recording generated by the Port Authority's vessel traffic system was designed specifically for the singular purpose of managing vessel traffic in the marine ports of Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay.  It was not contemplated that these records would be called upon by parties external to the Port Authority.  For this reason the data recorded on the system is not captured in a form which can be read using conventional IT programs. 

Therefore, any party issuing a subpoena for production of the VTS CCTV recording must be aware of the complex process involved in converting the data into a form which can be read by the Courts and the cost involved in producing such data.

Set out below are the steps the Port Authority must undertake to arrive at a position of compliance with a subpoena for production of this material in a form suitable for use in the Courts, together with the approximate time each step takes at the rate per hour specified. 

Please note that because of the complexity of the process to extract the data, two senior staff members of the Port Authority have the expertise to undertake the task.

Step in the Conversion Process

Time per step

Rate per hour AUD

Capture record of VTS data by 1hr time slots

10 mins


Replay VTS data to confirm incident captured

1 hour


Re-record incident on ".avi" program file format

30 mins


Re-record a 1 hour VTS CCTV record

1 hour


TOTAL (for each hour of CCTV recording requested)

2 hrs 40 mins


Once the conversion is complete, the data will be in a form which can be copied onto a USB stick.  For this reason, a USB stick should be provided by any party issuing a subpoena for production of VTS CCTV records, together with sufficient conduct money to pay for the cost of producing the material required.

1.3 Overwriting Cycle

Note the VTS recording is overwritten in a cycle of between 27 – 32 days (depending on quantity of vessel traffic).  Once a recording has been overwritten, the information is no longer available.p