MARINE SAFETY (DOMESTIC COMMERCIAL VESSEL) NATIONAL LAW BILL
SECOND READING SPEECH - by Minister for Transport Anthony
Albanese 24 May 2012
Today I introduced legislation which represents some of the
biggest maritime reforms in Australia's history.
The Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Bill
2012 creates a single national maritime regulator and a national
safety system for domestic commercial vessels.
This legislation replaces eight existing federal, state and
territory regulators with one National Marine Safety Regulator; the
Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
This Bill will replace 50 pieces of legislation in seven
jurisdictions with a single national law, providing clarity and
consistency for Australia's seafarers and commercial vessel
In 2009 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a
national approach in regulating the safety of domestic commercial
vessels in Australia.
Three years of hard work, by all jurisdictions and industry
stakeholders has delivered this Bill.
This Bill establishes AMSA as the National Maritime Regulator,
with responsibility not only for the large commercial vessels that
undertake overseas voyages, but now also for the domestic
commercial vessels that work around our coast.
Importantly, this Bill establishes one single national system
for marine safety regulation.
The impact of this in practical terms is that marine I safety
standards will be consistent and consistently applied across the
This means that people who rely on domestic commercial vessels
for their livelihoods or as a means of transport can be confident
that every commercial vessel, wherever it is in Australian waters,
will be required to meet the same nationally agreed safety
It means that people who design and build commercial vessels in
one jurisdiction do not have to have that vessel recertified
each time they sail into a different jurisdiction's water.
This also means that companies who operate national businesses
and have vessels in more than one state will not have to grapple
with different regulatory and administrative requirements to manage
their fleet and their crew.
There are no borders on the water- there is no reason our
regulatory system needs to create artificial boundaries.
Fundamental to this reform and the benefits that it offers is
that it is a cooperative reform.
All states and territories have actively participated in
developing the legislation.
In the future, existing State and Territory regulators will
deliver National Law functions under the delegation of AMSA.
The benefits of this approach are many.
The National Regulator will be able to draw on the extensive
knowledge and experience that is housed in the state regulatory
authorities; stakeholders will not lose the contacts they have come
to rely on; there will be an opportunity to share knowledge and
approaches across state and territory boundaries - but at the same
time stakeholders will reap the benefits of national consistency
National reform is not easy and this reform has been no
I would also like to thank the many parties who have given
generously of their time, their knowledge and their experience.
Stakeholder support for this reform is very strong.
This is no surprise - the benefits it will offer to the
Australian economy and to Australians who own, run, work or travel
on domestic commercial vessels are undeniable.
As the Transport Minister I have had the privilege to undertake
the most comprehensive reform of the maritime sector in Australia's
This Bill, the shipping reform Bills and the Navigation Bill
position Australia to make the most of its future as a shipping
nation while ensuring that safety of vessels and those who sail
upon them as well as the protection of our treasured marine
environment is paramount.
here for a copy of the Explanatory Memorandum