The Australian Federal Parliament passed new laws to regulate the safety of ships and seafarers and ensure shipping will protect Australia’s marine environment.
Navigation Bill 2012 and the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Bill 2012 passed to give effect to Australia’s obligations under various international maritime organization conventions and established the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as the single national maritime regulator.
The government stated that the reforms were of importance for the safety and efficiency of the Australian shipping industry which is critical to the country’s economics. These laws 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.