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Tuesday, 16 November 1993
Page: 2955

(Question No. 606)

Senator MacGibbon asked the Minister for Transport and Communications, upon notice, on 21 September 1993:

  With reference to section 182(2) of the Queensland Marine Act which exempts Queensland licensed coastal pilots from personal liability in pecuniary damages:

  (1) How does the Commonwealth propose to deal with the present situation with respect to the liability of pilots to be sued personally for damages.

  (2) Will exemption be granted in accordance with the provisions of the Queensland legislation or will pilots be exposed to charges of personal liability.

Senator Collins —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) Most of the Queensland coastal pilots hold licences which were issued by the Queensland authorities. These licences are recognised under transitional arrangements by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which assumed responsibility for Queensland and Torres Strait pilot licensing on 1 July 1993. The pilots continue to be protected by the liability exclusions of the Queensland Marine Act.

  The Government has introduced in this session legislation to amend the Navigation Act which will allow for regulations to be made for dealing with the issue of pilot liability.

  (2) Before any regulations are made, AMSA will consult widely as to what form any liability exclusion should take.