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Tuesday, 10 September 1985
Page: 374

(Question No. 338)


Senator Collard asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 30 May 1985:

(1) Does the provision of the Navigation Act 1912 (the Act), Schedule 1, Page 311, Regulation 14, deem the Commonwealth Government responsible for issuing warnings on matters affecting navigation within port limits (see answer to question No. 415, Hansard, House of Representatives, 13 May 1985, p. 2238).

(2) Does the provision of the Act, Page 124, Part IV, Division 13, Section 269A, infer a duty on the Commonwealth to transmit any serious danger to navigation.

(3) What power does the Commonwealth have to delegate or sub-contract its responsibilities under the Act.


Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) No. Within Australia the Federal Government has arranged for the provision of aids to navigation in the following manner:

The Commonwealth is responsible for the provision and maintenance of those aids to navigation necessary for the efficient marking of the coastal shipping tracks outside port limits, used by vessels navigating the coast of Australia. The provision of port, river and inner aids to navigation is the agreed responsibility of the State and Territory Governments concerned. In accordance with this division of responsibility it is a matter for each authority to issue navigational warnings with respect to aids they provide.

(2) Section 269A of the Navigation Act 1912 imposes a duty on the master of a ship to transmit certain messages relating to serious dangers to navigation in such a manner that they can be directly received by other ships at sea. Where appropriate, warnings relating to these events, including those set out in sub-section 6 of this section are rebroadcast as navigational warnings by coast radio stations in accordance with directions set out by the Department of Transport.

(3) The power to delegate responsibilities under the Navigation Act 1912 are set out in section 9 of the Act.

Section 9 provides that the Minister may delegate any of his powers or functions under the Act, other than the power of delegation.