New national laws which regulate the safety of ships and seafarers and ensure shipping is conducted in a manner which protects Australia’s precious marine environment come into effect today.
The commencement of the Navigation Bill 2012 and the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Bill 2012 are the biggest reforms to Australia’s maritime sector in more than a century.
The National Law Bill provides a national approach to commercial vessel maritime safety replacing 50 pieces of state and federal legislation with one national law.
The National Law Bill also establishes the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as the single national maritime regulator.
From today, seafarers are no longer burdened by seven different marine regulatory systems, each with their own rules and regulations.
A single set of rules for maritime operations, licensing, registration, design standards and seafarer education for domestic commercial vessels will cut red tape, better protect our marine environment and allow the maritime industry to operate across state and territory borders freely.
The Navigation Act 2012, which also commences today, replaces the century old Navigation Act 1912 with a modern maritime safety regime that better reflects contemporary industry practice.
The Navigation Act provides a range of new measures to ensure maritime safety compliance including increased financial penalties for non-compliant vessels, exclusion of vessels from Australian ports with poor inspection histories, and on the spot infringement notices for marine order offences.
Shipping is a crucial part of the Australian transport system with almost all our imports and exports carried by ship.
Together with our shipping reforms, these national laws will grow Australia’s maritime industry and cement Australia’s standing as a shipping nation.
More information on these historic reforms and the National Maritime Safety Regulator is available at www.amsa.gov.au