Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to amend the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012, and for related purposes
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Registered 06 Dec 2019
Introduced Senate 05 Dec 2019

 

 

 

 

2019

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

MARINE SAFETY (DOMESTIC COMMERCIAL VESSEL) NATIONAL LAW AMENDMENT (IMPROVING SAFETY) BILL 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senator Sterle)

 


 

Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Amendment (Improving Safety) Bill 2019

 

OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Amendment (Improving Safety) Bill 2019 (the bill) is to guarantee the safety of passengers on domestic commercial vessels. The passage of this bill will achieve exactly that by ensuring that masters of domestic commercial vessels conduct two headcounts of their passengers at a minimum. The two headcounts must be conducted at the commencement of the voyage and at the end, to ensure that all passengers are present and accounted for.

 

This bill is needed to avoid a similar case occurring to that which happened with the tragic loss of Mr Damien Mills when he fell off the back of a boat undetected and died in 2014. Had the master of that vessel conducted a headcount when the boat got back to Fremantle, they would have realised that Mr Mills was missing and they could have alerted the appropriate authorities. WA Water Police, in giving evidence to the Senate’s Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee’s inquiry into the performance of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, stated that had they been made aware that Mr Mills had fallen overboard at the time the vessel docked, they would have had a very strong chance of finding him alive.

 

Current legislation only mandates that one headcount has to be conducted at any time by the master of a vessel. The introduction of this bill will require masters of vessels to conduct two headcounts, one at the commencement of a voyage and one at the end. The bill excludes certain vessels from this requirement, including Class 4 vessels, vessels used for the purposes of public transport and vessels which are more than 24 metres long,

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

Clause 1: Short Title

1.           This clause is a formal provision and specifies that the short title of the Act may be cited as the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Amendment (Improving Safety) Act 2019

Clause 2: Commencement

2.           This clause clarifies when the Act commences.

Clause 3: Schedules

4.                  Each Act specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as is set out in the applicable items in the Schedule.  Any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1—Amendments

Schedule 1 amends the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012.

Item 1After subsection 163(1) of Schedule 1

5.         This item requires Australia’s national maritime safety regulator, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, to create an instrument to require masters of vessels, other than those used for the purpose of public transport and that are more than 24 metres long, to conduct two headcounts, one at the commencement of a voyage and one at the end.


 

 

Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Amendment (Improving Safety) Bill 2019

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

The purpose of this bill is to guarantee the safety of passengers on domestic commercial vessels. The passage of this bill will achieve exactly that by ensuring that masters of domestic commercial vessels conduct two headcounts of their passengers, one at the commencement of the voyage and one at the end, to ensure that all passengers are present and accounted for.

 

This bill is needed to avoid a similar case occurring to that which happened with the tragic loss of Mr Damien Mills when he fell off the back of a boat undetected and died in 2014. Had the master of that vessel conducted a headcount when the boat got back to Fremantle, they would have realised that Mr Mills was missing and they could have alerted the appropriate authorities. WA Water Police, in giving evidence to the Senate’s Rural Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee’s inquiry into the performance of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, stated that had they been made aware that Mr Mills had fallen overboard at the time the vessel docked, they would have had a very strong chance of finding him alive.

 

Current legislation only mandates that one headcount has to be conducted at any time by the master of a vessel. The introduction of this bill will require Masters of vessels, other than those used for the purpose of public transport and that are more than 24 metres long to conduct two headcounts, one at the commencement of a voyage and one at the end.

Human rights implications

This Bill does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

 

Conclusion

This Bill is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

Senator Glenn Sterle