Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act relating to maritime safety to ensure the maintenance of standards of training and certification of marine engineers
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Registered 02 Jul 2013
Introduced Senate 27 Jun 2013

 

 

 

2010-2011-2012-2013

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Engineers Qualifications Bill 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

And

 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of Senator Williams


 

MARINE ENGINEERS QUALIFICATIONS BILL 2013

 

OUTLINE

 

This is a Bill to prevent a reduction in marine engineering training and certification standards in Australia.

 

It will do this by requiring that any marine regulations, such as Marine Orders, must be amended by the issuing authority so as to comply with and give effect to the existing Australian standards for Engineering training and certification.

 

It also implements the engineering improvements agreed to on 22 October 2009 between the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE) which include, inter alia, the establishment of regulatory requirements for marine engineers separate from those for deck officers and ratings in order to assist with regulatory certainty.

 

Importantly, with the passage of the Navigation Act 2012, existing Australian standards will no longer apply to Australia’s merchant trading fleet if the vessel does not trade internationally.

However, only seven of the approximately 20 merchant ships left in the Australian fleet trade internationally, so the Navigation Act 2012 does not apply to the remainder of the Australian trading fleet. The Navigation Act 2012 also does not apply to the more than 150 commercial vessels engaged in the Australian oil and gas industry or to other relevant operations.

 

The passage of the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (the National Law) has resulted in lower training and certification standards than those required by the Navigation Act.

 

The National Law sets lower standards. The National Law:

 

·         counts only half the defined propulsion power in determining the level of training and certification required for a given vessel;

·         no longer triggers Navigation Act standards when a vessel exits State waters;

·         does not mandate the three year training requirement for Marine Engineer Watchkeeper;

·         does not mandate AMSA oral examinations;

·         does not ensure AMSA directly audits college course providers; and

·         does not maintain the academic entry standards for Engineer Cadets.

 

To ensure this reduction in training and certification requirements does not progress, this Bill proposes that, in addition to the seven vessels covered by the Navigation Act 2012, where a commercial vessel is either:

 

·         of 500 or more gross registered tonnes; or

·         of propulsion power of 3000 kW or more;

 

then engineer requirements on that vessel shall also be required to meet the marine engineer training and certification standards set out in this Bill.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The Bill will have no financial impact.


 

MARINE ENGINEERS QUALIFICATIONS BILL 2013

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

PART 1

 

Clause 1 – Short Title

 

This is a formal provision which provides that the Bill, once enacted, can be cited as the Marine Engineers Qualifications Act 2013.

 

Clause 2 – Commencement

 

This clause provides that sections 3-21 inclusive of the Bill are to commence on a single day to be fixed by Proclamation. If the provision(s) do not commence within the period of 18 months beginning on the day the Bill receives Royal Assent, they commence on the day after the end of that period. All other sections commence on the day of Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 – Act binds the Crown

 

This clause provides that the Bill will bind the Crown in each of its capacities.

 

Clause 4 – Object of Act

 

This clause outlines the main object of the Bill, being to set minimum standards in relation to the certification of marine engineering and electro-technical competency in order to prevent any reduction in those standards.

 

Clause 5 – Constitutional reach of Act

 

This clause outlines the classes of persons, and duties performed by those persons, to which the Bill will apply.

 

Clause 6 – Definitions

 

This clause provides definitions for relevant terms within the Bill.

 

PART 2

 

Clause 7 - Standard: arrangement of legislative instruments dealing with marine engineering certification matters

 

This clause specifies that legislative instruments dealing with marine engineering certification matters shall not contain material that relates to matters other than marine engineering certification and incidental matters.

 

Clause 8 – Standards for Marine Regulations

 

This clause provides that marine regulations shall not be inconsistent with standards established throughout the rest of the Bill and, in the event they are inconsistent, the standards in the Bill will replace the inconsistency.

 

Clause 9 - Standard: approvals

 

This clause provides that certain decisions, which are listed in the clause, must be approved by decision of examiners established under the Bill.

Clause 10 - Standard: oral examinations

This clause outlines the process by which oral examinations must be conducted and compels an examiner to issue a report to the person examined.

 

Clause 11 - Standard: Engineer Class 1, 2 and 3

 

This clause provides that an Engineer Class 1, 2 and 3 will not be issued a certificate of competency unless they have passed an oral examination.

 

Clause 12 - Standard: Engineer Watchkeeper

 

This clause provides that an Engineer Watchkeeper will not be issued a certificate of competency unless they have passed all requirements established under the Bill. Unlike Clause 11, there are several different ways to satisfy the requirements.

 

Clause 13 - Standard: Marine Engineer Class 3 without a trade

 

This clause allows examiners to make an approval for a Marine Engineer Class 3 without a trade to train as an Engineer Watchkeeper, taking into account experience not listed in Clauses 11 and 12.

 

Clause 14 - Standard: alternative trades and post-trade acquisition of maintenance experience

 

This clause provides that, when examining an application for Engineer Watchkeeper, an examiner may consider other trades from those listed in Clause 12, and make a determination that the trade listed in the application satisfies the requirements for Engineer Watchkeeper.

 

Clause 15 - Standard: recognition of foreign certificate

 

This clause requires that persons holding engineering qualifications from other jurisdictions must undergo the requirements of Australian examination before they are issued with a certificate of competency.

 

Clause 16 - Standard: colleges and registered training authorities

 

This clause provides that the Principal Examiner must audit colleges and training bodies that provide marine engineering training. This is not a delegable power.

 

Clause 17 - Standard: duties permitted for grades of certificates

 

This clause lists the duties that may be performed by persons holding the respective qualification certificates, including those referred to in Clauses 11-14 inclusive. This clause also establishes some additional requirements that are applied to specific duties and consolidates the standards expressed in several different tables under current regulations in the one Clause.

 

Clause 18 - Standard: revalidation of certificates

 

This clause allows for certificates of competency to be revalidated if the holder meets certain criteria since the issuing of the certificate and maintains current capacity to revalidate any engineering certificate provided the required sea service was on vessels of 750kW or more.

 

Clause 19 - Standard: Principal Examiner and Examiners

 

This clause clarifies the expressions Principal Examiner and Examiner, when used in marine regulations, have the same meaning as in the Bill.

 

Clause 20 - Standard: meaning of propulsion power

 

This clause clarifies the expression propulsion power, when used in marine regulations, has the same meaning as in the Bill.

 

Clause 21 - Standard: meaning of qualifying sea service

 

This clause clarifies the expression qualifying sea service, when used in marine regulations, has the same meaning as in the Bill.


 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Marine Engineers Qualifications Bill 2013

 

This bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Overview of the Bill

 

This is a Bill to prevent a reduction in marine engineering training by setting minimum standards in relation to the certification of marine engineering and electro-technical competency. This will prevent any reduction in standards that may have occurred or will occur due to the framework established by the Navigation Act 2012 and Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012. It will do this by, inter alia, requiring that any marine regulations, such as Marine Orders, must be amended by the issuing authority so as to comply with and give effect to the existing Australian standards for engineering training and certification.

 

Human rights implications

 

This Bill engages with and recognises the right to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work as described in Article 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Article makes particular mention, at 7(b), of safe and healthy working conditions. This Bill helps ensure all persons have the right to safe and healthy conditions at work by ensuring a minimum competency standard. Maritime working environments have a potential to be hazardous and the competency of maritime workers can directly affect the health and safety of others.

 

Conclusion

 

This Bill is compatible with human rights because, as far as it engages with the right to safe and healthy work conditions, it advances the protection of those human rights.

 

Senator Williams