Sep 25, 2008

Strengthening Australia’s Transport Security

Strengthening Australia’s Transport Security

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

September 25 2008

Today I introduced legislation into the Parliament which will strengthen the security of Australia’s maritime and aviation sectors.

The Transport Security Amendment (2008 Measures No. 1) Bill 2008 seeks to:

Establish nationally consistent mapping standards for maritime security plans. Clear and accurate mapping of port boundaries and security zones are key elements in an effective maritime security regime;

  • Clarify the security obligations of foreign regulated ships visiting an external Australian territory, ensuring industry participants fully understand their security obligations;
  •  Provide the Government greater flexibility to respond to changes in Australia’s security environment and the operational requirements of industry by allowing maritime and offshore security plans to be approved for a period of up to five years (but not less than 12 months) rather than the current fixed five year period;
  • Give greater flexibility to industry in the fulfilment of their security obligations by recognising current approaches to the documentation of security planning within the aviation and maritime industries.

When enacted, the legislation will amend the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 and the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004.

Together these Acts implement preventive security regimes across the maritime and aviation sectors; give effect to Australia’s international obligations; and help safeguard against and respond promptly to threats of terrorism and other criminal behaviour.

Australia’s maritime and aviation industries are critical to Australia’s economic prosperity, both now and into the future – they are our gateways to the global economy.

Sea freight accounts for 76 per cent of the value of Australia’s international trade and our offshore oil and gas operations are valued at $22.7 billion. The aviation industry directly supports some 50,000 jobs.

By strengthening our security laws we are helping to safeguard these vital industries.

The legislation I’ve introduced today is an example of the strong partnership between the Government and Australia’s maritime, offshore and aviation industries – one based on consultation and cooperation.