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Wednesday, 6 December 2006
Page: 2


Mrs DE-ANNE KELLY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services) (9:06 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Maritime Legislation Amendment (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) Bill amends the Navigation Act 1912 and the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983 to implement annex VI (prevention of air pollution from ships) of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, commonly known as MARPOL.

The bill also incorporates other miscellaneous amendments that are unrelated to annex VI. These include changing references to ‘pilot’ in the Navigation Act 1912 to ‘licensed pilot’ and references in the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983 to ensure that recent amendments to the act correctly reflect the recently revised annex I of MARPOL.

Annex VI was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation in September 1997 and came into force internationally on 19 May 2005.

The majority of the bill—schedule 1 which implements annex VI—will commence on a date to be proclaimed. This is due to the accession process required for annex VI through the International Maritime Organisation. It is intended that the commencement date will coincide with the date that annex VI enters into force for Australia.

The bill adds a new part to division 12 of the Navigation Act 1912, to provide for periodical survey of Australian registered ships to ensure the ship is constructed in accordance with the annex VI requirements, and for the issue of an International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate. Foreign-registered vessels are required to have certificates issued by their own flag states when visiting Australian ports. The bill also amends the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983 to define the operational measures required in relation to the carriage and use of fuel oil on board ships, including the sulfur content of fuel oil and fuel oil quality requirements.

The proposed amendments set limits on sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts and prohibit deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances. The annex also includes a global cap of 4.5 per cent on the sulfur content of fuel oil.

Annex VI contains provisions allowing for special sulfur oxide (SOx) emission control areas to be established with more stringent controls on sulfur emissions. In these areas, the sulfur content of fuel oil used on board ships must not exceed 1.5 per cent. Alternatively, ships must fit an exhaust gas cleaning system or use any other technological method to limit SOx emissions.

Both the Baltic Sea area and the North Sea are designated as SOx emission control areas.

This bill continues the government’s efforts to prevent pollution by ships and maintains the close alignment Australia has with the International Maritime Organisation’s international conventions.

Debate (on motion by Mr Gavan O’Connor) adjourned.