Joint Government Funding for New Marine Safety Management System

In response to industry feedback on the 2016 levy proposals for managing the national marine safety system, the State and Federal government Transport Ministers agreed in early December to provide more than $102.4 million to support industry’s transition to the new service delivery arrangements by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority commencing on 1st July 2018.

State and Federal Transport Ministers agreed to use the $102.4 million to allow time for AMSA and industry to gradually adjust to the change to the national system, rationalize the activities to be delivered by government and phase in recovery of the costs of AMSA management.

It is expected that the government funding will provide transition support over the next 10 years. It is anticipated the industry will be at 80% cost recovery at the end of that period.

AMSA has announced that for the first year of the new service arrangements (ie from 1st July 2018) – no levy will be charged to industry.

Financial YearGovernment  % Subsidy rateIndustry % payment of levy
2018/19100%Nil
2019/2086%14%
2020/2167%33%
2021/2248%52%
2022/2342%58%
2023/2430%70%
2024/2529%71%
2025/2628%72%
2026/2726%74%
2027/2825%75%
2028/29Nil100%

The transition funding will allow AMSA to work with it’s industry advisory committees (including WAFIC) to settle on a cost recovery levy model in expectation of providing a levy model and fee structure to the broader industry in early 2018.

‘This level of cross-government support recognises the importance of the marine industry to Australia for transporting passengers, servicing industries such as oil and gas or providing seafood for the consuming public’, said WAFIC, Chief Executive Officer, John Harrison.

‘The introduction of any new national management approach takes time to bed down and the government funding support will allow industry and AMSA to work together over the next three-five years to settle on the necessary services required and to generate the most cost effective delivery of those services.’

WAFIC looks forward to considering the finer details of the government funding announcement and levy phase-in arrangements through whole-of-industry discussions with AMSA in future months.

‘The fishing industry is also wanting to work on the promised incentive components of the new management approach especially rewarding fishing vessel operators with good safety histories with reductions in frequency of prescribed survey and equipment surveys and the associated costs’, said Mr Harrison.

‘It is essential throughout the next 10 years that industry is properly consulted and engaged in the design and rollout of the new National System and the flow on levy is not a cost burden on industry,’ said Mr Harrison.

From 1st July 2018, services for WA fishing vessels and crew will be delivered directly by AMSA instead of the WA Department of Transport.

The State and Federal governments agreed in 2012 to establish a national system to make the delivery of marine safety services more cost effective and harmonised.

It is expected that fees for vessel services will be the same in all Australian states and territories. Better guidance material and monitoring/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 will be providing information to all customers and stakeholders and ongoing advice and updates regarding these changes will be available at https://www.amsa.gov.au

Click to read the Transport and Infrastructure Council’s decision.