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Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994 – 1 September 2016

Transport Operations (Marine Safety—Queensland Regulated Ships Miscellaneous Equipment) Standard 2006 – 1 September 2016

Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016 – 1 September 2016

Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Transitional Regulation 2016 – 1 September 2016

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The power to legislate for ships is shared between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories.

  • Sections 11, 28

Standards made under this Act may deal with most matters about marine safety. Non-compliance may establish noncompliance with a general safety standard.

  • Sections 31, 32, 53

A survey report issued by a competent person for a Queensland regulated ship may be used to establish that a general safety obligation has been complied with in whole or part.

  • Section 33

Pilotage areas may be declared. Control in (compulsory) pilotage areas is achieved by requiring certain ships to use a pilot when the ship is entering, leaving or navigating within a compulsory pilotage area. Control in pilotage areas is also achieved by appointing harbour masters and authorising them to give directions about ships and their navigation. If a regulation closes a pilotage area or part of a pilotage area, a person must not, without the permission of a harbour master: (a) cause a ship to enter, leave or navigate in the pilotage area or part, unless the person has a reasonable excuse; or (b) anchor, berth or moor a ship in the pilotage area or part, unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

  • Sections 35, 71, 71A, 72, 73, 86, 86A, 88, 93, 94; Regulations 160, 161, Schedules 2, 3, 4 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A competent person who issues a survey report for a ‘Queensland regulated ship’ must ensure that each statement made in the report about the ship’s seaworthiness is correct in every material particular.

  • Sections 39A, 40

The owner and master of a ship must not operate the ship unless the ship is safe. A ship is safe if it is seaworthy, and is appropriately equipped and crewed, to meet the ordinary perils of the voyage on which the ship is proceeding or about to proceed. Note: Failure to comply may result in licence disqualification or the grant of a restricted licence where there is an application in the approved form. For the definition of ‘master’ of a ship, refer to section 7 of the Act.

  • Sections 7, 9, 41, 172AA, 202A, 202C, 202D, 202E, 202G, 202H, 202K, 202L, 202M; Regulations 156, 157 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person involved with a ship’s operation (including the owner, master, pilot and crew members) must not cause the ship to be operated unsafely. A person causes a ship to be operated unsafely if the person causes the ship to be operated in a way that: (a) causes a marine incident; or (b) contravenes conditions of the ship’s registration about safety or a provision of a regulation that is declared to be applicable. Note: Failure to comply may result in licence disqualification or the grant of a restricted licence where there is an application in the approved form.

  • Sections 43, 202A, 202C, 202D, 202E, 202G, 202H, 202K, 202L, 202M

The owner or master of a ship must not operate a ship if: (a) the ship is required by a regulation to be equipped with safety equipment; and (b) the ship is not equipped with the safety equipment. Note: Failure to comply may result in licence disqualification or the grant of a restricted licence where there is an application in the approved form. Safety equipment which may be required include: EPIRB, firefighting equipment, life jackets, lighting devices, V sheets, flares, etc. Note: A ship is taken to be equipped with safety equipment only if the owner or master gives each person on board information about where the safety equipment is kept, including, for example, by giving the information orally, in a demonstration or on a printed sign.

  • Sections 4, 10A, 10B, 44, 202A, 202C, 202D, 202E, 202G, 202H, 202K, 202L, 202M, Schedule 1; Regulations 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 24, 25 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016; Standards 4, 5, 5A, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 11A, 14, 18, 19 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety – Queensland Regulated Ships Miscellaneous Equipment) Standard 2006

The owner or master of a ship must not operate the ship if the ship is required to be registered, but is not registered. For registration requirements, refer to regulation 26 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016. An interested person (with a legitimate interest in obtaining access) may, on payment of a fee, inspect the register of Queensland regulated ships.

  • Sections 54, 55, 56, 57, 58; Regulations 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 35, 37, 38, 39, 201 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person must not operate a ‘Queensland regulated ship’ as its master/act as a crew member of a ship if the person is required to be licensed, but is not appropriately licensed. For licencing requirements, refer to regulation 62 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016. The government may grant an application for a recreational marine driver licence only if the applicant is 16 years or more; has knowledge of the Act and this regulation as they affect recreational ships; and the collision regulations; and has demonstrated competency in safe operating practices for recreational ships.

  • Sections 59A, 60, 61, 62, 62A; Regulations 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 133, 134 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A harbour master may direct a person in charge of a place in, or adjacent to, a marine incident area or pilotage area: (a) to allow a ship to be berthed at the place or moved from the place; or (b) to allow access through the place to and from the ship.

  • Section 89

A harbour master may close a pilotage area or a part of a pilotage area if the harbour master is satisfied that the closure is required for a limited period to ensure safety. The harbour master must take the steps necessary to ensure that ships that may be affected by the closure are aware of it.

  • Sections 95, 96, 97

A person must not navigate a regulation declared ship (50m or more) in a compulsory pilotage area unless the person uses the services of a pilot. A pilot who has the conduct of a ship is subject to the master’s authority. Note: A conducting pilot is not civilly liable for damage or loss caused by an act or omission of the conducting pilot.

  • Sections 98, 99, 100, 101, 102A

A person must not: (a) moor a ship to an aid to navigation or climb the aid, unless the person has a reasonable excuse for mooring the ship or climbing the aid; or (b) enter a lighthouse or any enclosed area around the lighthouse, unless the person has a reasonable excuse for entering the lighthouse or area.

  • Sections 104, 107

If a ship damages or destroys an aid to navigation, the master and the owner of the ship are jointly and severally liable for the expense of repairing or reinstating the aid to navigation.

  • Sections 104, 107A

The master of each ship involved in the marine incident must, to the extent that the master can do so without danger to the master’s ship or persons on board the master’s ship, give to each other ship involved in the incident, its master and persons on board the ship the help necessary to save them from danger caused by the marine incident. In addition, the master must also give to the other ship reasonable particulars adequate to identify the ship and its owner.

  • Sections 123, 123A, 124

Marine incidents are to be reported to the government within 48 hours. For the definition of ‘marine incident’, refer to section 123 of the Act. Events included in the definition include: the loss of a person from a ship; the death of, or grievous bodily harm to, a person caused by a ship’s operations; the loss or presumed loss or abandonment of a ship; a collision with a ship; the stranding of a ship; significant damage to a ship, etc.

  • Sections 123, 125, 126

If the master of a ship becomes aware of something in the ship’s vicinity that is a danger to navigation, the master must promptly SECURITE the information required by regulation to ships in the vicinity and as soon as practicable inform a harbour master or coastal radio station of the information.

  • Section 129; Regulation 78 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

If the master of a Queensland regulated ship at sea has reason to believe that persons on or from a ship or aircraft are in distress at sea, the master must, unless the master cannot do so or, in the special circumstances of the case, considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to do so, go as quickly as possible to help the persons and, if possible, inform them that this is happening.

  • Section 130

If a shipping inspector reasonably believes that a ship, part of a ship or other property is abandoned (lost or stranded) property, the inspector may seize the abandoned property and remove it to a place the inspector decides is appropriate. After notice in a local newspaper, abandoned property may be sold or destroyed by the inspector. If the proceeds of sale are insufficient to cover sale, seizure, removal and storage expenses, the owner and master are jointly and severally liable to pay the shortfall.

  • Sections 4, 175A, Schedule 1

A person must not go on board, remain alongside or hover near a ship in a pilotage area or port unless the person: has the permission of the ship’s owner or master or a person authorised by the owner or master; or is there on official business under an Act; or has another reasonable excuse.

  • Section 184

A person must not remain on board a ship if the person is not entitled to be on board it; and the owner or master or a person authorised by the owner or master asks the person to leave the ship; unless the person has a reasonable excuse for remaining on board.

  • Section 185

A person must not unlawfully interfere with a Queensland regulated ship. A person unlawfully interferes with a Queensland regulated ship if the person wilfully, and without authority, justification or excuse, detrimentally interferes with the safe operation of the ship.

  • Section 186

A ship’s master (of a passenger carrying ship) may refuse to allow a person to board the ship where a reasonable reason for this course of action exists.

  • Sections 187, 188, 189, 191

A ship’s master (of a passenger carrying ship) may ask a person to leave the ship at a convenient port if the master is of the opinion, on reasonable grounds, that the person is likely to annoy or injure, or further annoy or injure, persons on the ship because of the person’s intoxicated condition or disorderly or violent behaviour. Note: A person who is asked to leave the ship, must leave the ship.

  • Sections 187, 188, 189, 191

A document may be served on the master of a ship or a member of the ship’s crew by leaving it: with a person apparently in charge of the ship (after explaining to the person the purpose of the document); or if there is no-one apparently in charge of the ship, in a reasonably secure way in a conspicuous position near the ship’s controls. Note: If a document is required or permitted to be served on the master of a ship and there is no master or apparently there is no master, the document may be served on the owner of the ship.

  • Section 200

A person charged under this Act who wants to challenge the accuracy of a device must give a signed written notice of challenge to the prosecution at least 14 days before the day fixed for hearing.

  • Section 201

A person may, on payment of the fee prescribed under a regulation, electronically search information held by the government about licences to verify that a person is the holder of a licence under this Act. However, the person may search information only: (a) to verify the person’s own licence; or (b) with the consent of the person to whom the search relates.

  • Section 205B

A person may use or display a prescribed signal of distress (V sheet, etc) only for indicating distress and a need for help. Note: If a person is convicted of an offence against this section, the court may order the person to pay to the State or another person an amount that represents reasonable compensation for loss or expense suffered, work undertaken and risk incurred because of the person’s act or omission.

  • Section 206; Regulation 76 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person must not operate a ship at a speed of more than a fixed speed limit. Note: Information about speed limits must be published on the Maritime Safety Queensland or the Gold Coast Waterways Authority website.

  • Sections 206A, 206AA

A person who is the owner or master of the tender (that is not required to be registered) must ensure the tender is marked in the way that complies with regulation 39 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016. The tender must be clearly, legibly and permanently marked on its exterior, above the waterline when the ship is afloat, with the word ‘TENDER’ and the registration number of the
ship to which the tender is a tender. The markings required must be in characters not smaller than 75mm. Note: If a tender cannot be practicably marked on its exterior, it must be marked on its interior in the largest characters practicable.

  • Regulation 39 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person must not sell a Queensland regulated ship unless: (a) a builders plate is fixed to the ship in accordance with the ABP Standard; and (b) the builders plate contains the information required by the ABP Standard; and (c) the information has been approved by a builders plate approver; and (d) the information is correct at the time of the sale. Note: This rule does not apply to second-hand ships, etc – see subregulation 41(2) of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016. Also, it is a defence that at the time of the sale, a survey report for the ship had been obtained.

  • Regulations 41, 43, 44, 48, 49, 50 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person must not operate a ship in waters at a speed of more than 6kn (or otherwise an assigned speed limit of less than 6kn) if the ship is within 30m of any of the following: (a) a person in the waters; (b) a ship at anchor, moored or made fast to the shore or aground; (c) a jetty, wharf, boat ramp or pontoon in or on the waters. Further to the above requirement, a person must not operate a ship at a speed at which the ship’s wash is reasonably capable of causing: (a) a marine incident; or (b) damage to the shoreline.

  • Regulations 81, 83 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person must not while operating a personal watercraft: freestyle, surf or wave jump within 200m of the shore if the personal watercraft is being operated in coastal waters; and (b) 1 or more dwellings are within 100m of the shore and are visible from, and in the vicinity of, where the personal watercraft is being operated. For the definition of ‘freestyle’, refer to the Schedule 9 dictionary.

  • Regulations 3, 86, Schedule 9 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person must not send dangerous cargo, other than dangerous goods, by ship unless the person gives the master of the ship, before sending the cargo, a written notice about the cargo which complies with regulation 87 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016.

  • Regulations 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

If a person who is the owner or master of a commercial ship starts using the ship for: (a) carrying passengers for reward; (b) providing the ship for another person to use as a hire ship; or (c) providing a leisure tourism or entertainment activity for a person for reward including, for example, parasailing or waterskiing; before starting the business, the owner or master must give written advice about starting the business to the harbour master/government in a way compliant with regulation 98 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016.

  • Regulation 98 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

An application for an authority (including for buoy mooring approval, aquatic event authority) may be made in the approved form to the government.

  • Regulations 100, 101, 103, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 198 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person (the new owner) who buys or otherwise acquires a registered Queensland regulated ship from another person must, within 14 days after acquiring the ship, apply to the administering agency for the transfer of the ship’s registration.

  • Regulation 158 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person who is the owner or master of a ship must not operate the ship in a marine zone in contravention of a requirement mentioned in Schedule 5 for the marine zone.

  • Regulations 178, Schedule 5 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person who is the owner or master of a ship must not anchor the ship: (a) within 10m of a boat ramp or jetty; (b) within 50m of an underwater cable or pipeline if a sign indicates the presence of the cable or pipeline; or (c) in waters where the presence of an anchored ship involves danger to aircraft or other ships.

  • Regulation 195 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person who is the owner or master of a ship must not anchor, berth, moor or operate the ship within 100m of a dam wall, spillway or weir.

  • Regulation 196 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person who is the owner or master of a ship must not anchor, berth, moor or operate the ship if doing so endangers marine safety. In addition, a person must not conduct an activity in waters if doing so in the waters endangers marine safety. Further, a person who is the owner or master of a ship must not operate the ship within 30m of a diver in the water if a code A flag is displayed in the vicinity of the diver.

  • Regulation 197 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016

A person must not operate a ship towing a skier unless: the skier is wearing a life jacket and there is an observer on the ship, who is more than 13 years or more, and is competent to watch the skier at all times. The observer must immediately tell the operator if: (a) there is a danger, or potential for danger, to the skier; (b) the skier signals the observer; or (c) the skier has a mishap.

  • Regulation 199 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016
Reason for law

To provide a system that achieves an appropriate balance between: (a) regulating the maritime industry to ensure marine safety; and (b) enabling the effectiveness and efficiency of the Queensland maritime industry to be further developed. (Section 3)

Relevant links

Maritime Safety Queensland
Boating maps
Notices to Mariners
Collision regulations
Phonetic alphabet
Preparing for severe weather
Gazetted speed limits in Queensland
Recommended smallcraft courses
Marine incidents/Marine Incident Report
Marine licence verification
Aquatic events
Queensland Tide Tables
Queensland Recreational Boating and Fishing Guide
Relevant maritime legislation in Queensland

Gold Coast Waterways Authority
Fact sheets, maps and forms

Boating [Seqwater]

Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Standards and tools
EPIRB registration

Boating Industry Association (BIA)

The Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Comite Maritime International
Database for Judicial Decisions on International Conventions

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
List of Cases

UK – The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide

Maritime Union of Australia
Report a Deficiency

International Transport Workers’ Federation

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Media article

Sailors’ mental health an increasing concern for Victoria’s seafarer support organisation

Critique

Sections 139 and 141 include the terms ‘solicitor’ and ‘barrister’. These terms may be replaced with ‘lawyer’ for consistency with the Legal Profession Act.

Section 200 should be clarified to perhaps limit service, when no-one is aboard, to leaving documentation in an external location.

Regulations 37 and 38 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2004 may be rethought. A flotation statement for dinghies might be over regulation. This rule might discriminate against fibreglass and plastic dinghies.

Subregulation 76(3) of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2004 may be rethought. The sticker placement rule provided by this subregulation may not be appropriate for all recreational ship types.

The existence of Schedule 4A of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2004 supports the notion that recreational ship regulations should be separate from commercial ship regulations. A full and complete separation could be investigated.

Schedule 9 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2004 may require updating to include Gladstone Harbour to mirror current maritime practice.

Suggested further reading

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PLEASE NOTE: The information published on this webpage may be out-of-date. Please compare the currency date of the Act/Regulation against that published on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. If you require access to Commonwealth statute law, please visit the ComLaw website. If you require access to the local council laws (by-laws), please visit the Local laws database.

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