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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3636

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

The document read as follows-

(b)   a barge or like vessel fitted with living quarters for more than 12 persons and used or intended for use in connexion with the construction, maintenance or repair of off-shore industry fixed structures, shall be deemed to be an off-shore industry mobile unit

(4)   This section applies to off-shore industry mobile units that are used or intended for use in, or in any operations or activities associated with or incidental to, exploring, or exploiting the natural resources of, either or both-

(a)   the continental shelf of Australia; or

(b)   the seabed, or subsoil of the seabed, of the Australian coastal sea.

(5)   The regulations may make provision for and in relation to offshore industry mobile units to which this section applies with respect to any matter with respect to which provision is made by this Act or may be made by regulations made otherwise than by virtue of this section and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, with respect to-

(a)   the inspection and survey of units, and the issue of survey certificates;

(b)   the construction, hull, equipment and machinery of units;

(c)   load lines (including subdivision load lines), and the assigning and marking of load lines (including subdivisionload lines) on units;

(d)   the stability of units;

(e)   accommodation;

(f)   safety, including life-saving equipment and appliances;

(   g) the prevention, detection and extinction of fire;

(h)   the prevention of collisions;

(i)   the towing of units;

(j   ) the equipping of units with radio installations and the operation, maintenance and use on units of radio installations;

(k)   the manning of units;

(1)   the securing to the seabed of units engaged in drilling, laying pipelines or other operations; and

(m)   the providing, equipping, operation and use of offshore industry vessels used, or for use, in association with units.

(6)   Without limiting the generality of sub-section (5), the regulations may provide that a specified provision of this Act (including a provision of regulations made otherwise than by virtue of this section) does not apply, or applies with prescribed modifications, in relation to vessels that are offshore industry mobile units to which this section applies.

(7)   The Minister may, by notice in writing served on a person, being a person who is the owner, operator or person m charge of an off-shore industry mobile unit to which this section applies, give to that person directions as to any matter with respect to which regulations may be made by virtue of sub-section (5).

Mr CHARLES JONES -I thank the Minister and honourable members. That page sets out the things that we proposed would be brought within the jurisidiction of the Australian Navigation Act. Unfortunately they are not included in this Bill lto they will not be included in the legislation until some future time when the Minister is satisfied that he cannot achieve those matters by agreement with the State governments. State governments are terribly difficult on these things. All I say to members of the Government is this: Just be wary that as a result of your actions or those of your Ministers there is not another Sedco Helen on your consciences. That was one of the most blatant cases relating to foreign ships which were operating in Australian waters off our coast but which were not within the jurisdiction of the Navigation Act. Just be careful that it is not on your conscience that you have kept this out of the legislation. The amending Bill was in order and its validity was covered by the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act. The amending legislation was drawn up in the belief that the Australian Government was going to win a case then pending before the High Court. It did win. That is all I can say on that matter in the time allotted to me. I hope that the Minister will not be side-tracked by the State governments, that he will get on with the job and put into legislation the matters to which I have referred. I say that because, believe you me, that industry is in a mess. There is a problem as to whether State laws apply or Federal laws apply. The industry as a whole has got over some of its problems of late but it still has a long way to go.

The next matter I want to refer to is the deletion of section 187A, a provision which was in the 1975 Bill and which related to the endorsement of the 1972 convention on internation! regulations for prevention of collisions at sea. That convention will become operative in July next year. There will not be a Marine and Ports Council meeting until April of next year and we are going to find ourselves again dragging the chain in regard to a most important international convention. The Department of Transport tried to negotiate an agreement with the States from 1973 on. It still has not got an agreement. I doubt that it ever will.

Another important feature that has been deleted is the operations manual. This was one of the important points that came out of the Blythe Star inquiry. The officers did not know how to operate their ship or how to calculate the stability of their ship. We brought in this provision for an operations manual. I cannot understand why the Minister has deleted it from the Bill. It was a simple procedure. Ships today are all different. Construction, layout, technology and characteristics of shipping today are different ship by ship. There is a need for this sort of thing. For the Minister to delete it is, in my opinion, criminal.

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