The Australian Federal Parliament recently passed historic new laws which regulate the safety of shipsand seafarers and ensure shipping is conducted in a manner which protects Australia’s precious marine environment.
The passing of the Navigation Bill 2012 and the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Bill 2012 also gives effect to Australia’s obligations under various International Maritime Organization conventions and establishes the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as the single national maritime regulator.
The government stated that the safety and efficiency of the Australian shipping industry is critical to the country’s economic prosperity and that’s why these reforms are so important. They represent the most significant overhaul of the regulation and management of Australia’s maritime industry since 1912.
The National Law Bill replaces eight existing federal, state and territory regulators with one national marine safety regulator and a single national law, releasing manufacturers, operators and crews of commercial vessels from the current costly and confusing array of regulations.
The creation of a national system will lift safety standards, reduce red tape and provide better protections for our fragile marine environment from pollution and accidents.
Those reforms combined with these new laws, cement Australia’s standing as a shipping nation and carry us forward into a brighter maritime future.