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Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Page: 141

Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerLeader of the House and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) (09:01): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Today I introduce to the House the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Amendment Bill 2013, a bill to amend the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (the national law).

The Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012,which was passed by the parliament on 23 August 2012, created a single national maritime regulator and a national safety system for domestic commercial vessels.

This will result in replacing eight existing federal, state and territory regulators with one national marine safety regulator, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

The national marine safety regulator will officially commence in March this year.

AMSA, my department and maritime officials from the relevant state and territory maritime safety agencies have been working together to complete the necessary implementation work ahead of this start date.

However, a significant operational impact of the existing legislation was discovered while undertaking the implementation work.

The national law's original policy intention, as negotiated and agreed by the Commonwealth and state and territory jurisdictions, was that AMSA, as the national regulator, will reimburse amounts collected by the states or the Northern Territory for infringement notices issued under the national law.

This is a significant revenue stream for many of the jurisdictions, allowing for the broad range of maritime safety activities undertaken by maritime regulators.

The current legislation means that the Commonwealth, rather than AMSA, will be required to receive the revenue from the infringement notices.

However, the Commonwealth has no power to reimburse the amounts to the jurisdictions because the national law does not contain an appropriations power.

I am advised that only this amendment to the national law will achieve the original policy intention and ensure that there is no unintended impact on revenues collected by the jurisdictions.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.