Jun 26, 2008

Changes to Domestic Shipping Permits

Changes to Domestic Shipping Permits

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

June 18 2008

Today I released revised Ministerial guidelines for granting licences and permits to ships that transport goods interstate between Australian ports.

The revised guidelines will add transparency to the way the Australian Government issues single and continuing voyage permits to foreign ships carrying coastal shipping cargoes.

The Navigation Act 1912 provides that vessels under permit may only transport goods between Australian ports if a suitable licensed vessel is not available. The Ministerial guidelines lay down the administrative arrangements for issuing of permits to foreign vessels.

The Rudd Government is committed to the fair administration of the permit system by increasing transparency and compliance to create a level playing field for the Australian shipping industry – something the previous government removed.

From 1 August:

  •  Applications for single and continuing voyage permits will be made available to all licensed ship operators, the Australian Shipowners Association and maritime unions – assisting the Department of Infrastructure establish whether an Australian ship is available;
  •  Details of single voyage permits issued, including the name of the ship, cargo, dates and ports of loading and discharge, will be published.
  •  Permit holders who load cargoes that breach the terms of the permit will be required to provide a satisfactory explanation before future permits are issued.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government is currently undertaking a wide-ranging review of Australia’s coastal shipping sector.

The recommendations of this committee will assist the Government to further enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian shipping industry. The Committee is expected to report in October 2008.

The new guidelines can be downloaded from: www.infrastructure.gov.au.