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Tuesday, 3 June 2003
Page: 15913

Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 3 March 2003:

(1) Can a vessel operate under, or be issued with, more than one continuing voyage permit (CVP) at a time; if so, what circumstances and which vessels are currently operating under more than one permit.

(2) Can a vessel be operating under a single voyage permit (SVP) and a CVP at the same time.

(3) What is the process in place to ensure all conditions on a permit are complied with and what is the process and penalty that applies if one or more conditions is found to be breached.

(4) Does the issuance of a CVP for particular ports cancel another CVP for the same ports for a vessel.

(5) How many times have breaches of CVP or SVP conditions been discovered in each of the past five years and what action occurred as a consequence of each breach.

(6) Does the Transport Regulation Division maintain a record of the date of voyage and cargo carried by a ship for which the Division is required to be notified within fourteen days of each sailing by a vessel as a term of its CVP.

(7) Is it still the case that the Minister cannot cancel or revoke a single or continuing voyage permit if a breach of a condition of a permit is found to occur.

(8) Is it still the case that the Minister cannot suspend a single or continuing voyage permit if it is alleged or suspected a breach of a condition of a permit has occurred or is occurring.

Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes. For example, if the applicant wishes to extend the end date for carrying coastal cargo and applies for another permit before the expiry of the current permit, or if the applicant wishes to service two different sets of ports, a vessel may have two permits current. At present no ships have more than one current continuing voyage permit.

(2) Yes.

(3) Data from Statements of Cargo Actually Carried are entered into a spreadsheet together with application details. The sole condition on single voyage permits is “That the office of issue is notified, within 14 days after the sailing date, of the passengers and cargo carried by the ship named in this permit to the port(s) specified in this permit.” This is also one of a number of conditions for continuing voyage permits. Where breaches of this condition are found, the issue of further permits to the applicant concerned may be deferred until the deficiency has been made good by the return of outstanding Statements of Cargo Actually Carried. Where breaches of other conditions on continuing voyage permits are found, the permit holder is asked to provide a formal letter of explanation. Consideration is also given, from a public interest perspective, as to whether the breaches are serious enough to outweigh the needs of shippers to have their cargoes carried at the times specified.

(4) No.

(5) Over the last 5 years it has been common for permit holders to return late their Statements of Cargo Actually Carried, and for significant numbers of variations of cargo actually carried to be outside the plus or minus 10 per cent tolerance allowed by the permit. It would require substantial resources, which I am not prepared to make available, to scrutinise the permits that have been issued in that time.

(6) Yes.

(7) Yes in respect of single voyage permits. No in respect of continuing voyage permits.

(8) The Navigation Act 1912 provides only that the Minister may cancel a continuing voyage permit.