Australia’s Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) has announced a $102.4 million package to support industry to transition to new national arrangements for domestic commercial vessel safety.
In response to feedback from industry, the TIC is providing additional funding support, “to ensure the safety and productivity benefits of this important national reform can be realised.”
The transition package increases the level of government funding over the next 10 years from $10 million to over $100 million, to support industry and ease the transition to new arrangements, and supports a gradual increase in levy charges until industry funds around 80 per cent of the system, with the balance funded by governments.
Since 2013, the national system has regulated maritime safety requirements for 27,000 vessels and 66,000 seafarers. Currently the states and territories deliver national system services on behalf of the National Marine Safety Regulator, a role undertaken by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). From July 1, 2018, AMSA will deliver all national system services, including the certification of vessels and seafarers and ensuring they comply with safety standards.
The national system will mean the fees for vessel services will be the same in all Australian states and territories. According to TIC, better guidance material and monitoring and enforcement services will focus on providing support to operators who want to do the right thing and taking appropriate action against operators who continue to ignore the rules.
AMSA said it will continue to work with industry to look at ways to reduce administrative burden so operators can get on with the job.
A levy for the national system will be phased in gradually to allow time for industry to adjust and prepare for the changes. No levy will be charged to industry in the first year of AMSA’s service delivery, to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all operators as charging arrangements are standardised and services transition across Australia. Levy charges will then increase gradually until industry funds around 80 per cent of the national system, with the balance funded by governments.
The Commonwealth, state and Northern Territory governments are jointly contributing toward the transition funding package of over $100 million, taking into account the level of cost recovery the states and Northern Territory achieved.
AMSA will be providing information to all customers and stakeholders.
Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.