Maintaining safe and productive maritime industry

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

The Liberal and Nationals Government has today announced an independent review (the Review) of the legal framework regulating the safety of domestic commercial vessels in Australia.

Australia’s maritime industry employs thousands of Australians and underpins the economies of regional coastal communities, while contributing to the overall growth and prosperity of our nation.

Having effective safety regulations for vessels and seafarers – including across tourism, transport and fishing operations – will ensure the industry remains viable and successful into the future.

An independent review was part of the Government’s response to recent inquiries and we are delivering on our commitment.

The Review will consider whether the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety is fit for purpose, focusing on the capacity of the legislation to support safe vessel operations, minimise regulatory and administrative burden for industry, and transparency. It will also assess the costs and charges associated with the legislation.

Additionally, the Government has tasked the independent review panel with specifically considering:

  • whether the legislation interacts effectively with other Commonwealth and state and territory legislative frameworks, as well as with international maritime safety obligations; and
  • whether expanding the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s role to include domestic commercial vessel safety could support substantially improved safety outcomes for industry, as well as regulators and policy-makers.

The Review will be led by Mr Michael Carmody AO, a former Australian Taxation Commissioner. He will be supported by Ms Carolyn Walsh, Chair of the National Transport Commission, and Mr John Harrison, a commercial fisher and maritime industry expert.

The Government encourages industry to have their say on the legislation when the Review commences early next year.

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