Bills Digest no. 128 2005–06
Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security
Amendment (Security Plans and Other Measures) Bill
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be
consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the
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Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment (Security
Plans and Other Measures) Bill 2006
Date introduced: 29 March 2006
House: House of
Portfolio: Transport and Regional Services
Commencement: Sections 1 to 3 commence on Royal Assent. The major
operational part of the Bill (Schedule 1) commences on
Proclamation, or failing that, six months after Royal Assent.
The main purpose of the Bill is to make procedural changes to
the process of the approval, and revision of, various types of
maritime security plans.
The Bill also amends a wide range of legislation to bring the
drafting and operation of these Acts into line with the
Legislative Instruments Act 2003.
In December 2002, Australia and other parties to the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 ( the
SOLAS Convention ) agreed to significant amendments to the SOLAS
Convention.(1) Amongst other things, the amendments
incorporated an entirely new agreement, the International Ship and
Port Facility Security Code ( the ISPS Code ). In part, the ISPS
Code was intended to provide a standardised international framework
for security-related risk evaluation and management in the maritime
sector. The ISPS Code was a direct reaction to increased
international terrorism concerns in the wake of the attacks in New
York on 11 September 2001.
The ISPS Code was implemented by Australia through the
Maritime Transport Security Act 2003. One of main features
of this Act was the requirement to have security plans applying to
various port facilities and shipping. The Act was amended in 2005
to extend the existing legislative maritime security framework to
offshore oil and gas facilities, and consequently renamed as the
Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act
2003 (MTOFSA). A further set of amendments, the Maritime
Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment (Maritime
Security Guards and other Measures) Bill 2005, have yet to pass
According to the Minister s second reading speech,
The bill introduces measures in relation to the
submission and approval of maritime, ship and offshore security
plans aimed at alleviating administrative burdens faced by the
maritime industry. The measures of this bill are an example of the
continued and successful cooperation between the Department of
Transport and Regional Services and Australia s key maritime
industry representatives. It is a relationship based on
consultation and cooperation.(2)
Peak Australian industry groups representing
shipowners(3) and port operators(4) are
supportive of the intent of the changes contained Schedule 1, as
they are aimed at improving the workability of maritime transport
security plan development and implementation.
None for the Government.
The majority of Schedule 1 makes a series of
amendments relating to three main types of security plans in the
MTOFSA maritime security plans, ship security plans and offshore
security plans. Broadly speaking, each of these three types of
plans are amended in the same way thus items 1 to
13 makes the amendments to maritime security
plans, items 14 to 25 make the
same amendments to maritime security plans, and items
26 to 38 do the same for offshore
security plans. As none of the amendments appear make major
changes, only a few items are discussed below for illustrative
The Secretary of the Department of Transport and Regional
Services (DoTARS) presently has 90 days in which to approve a
maritime security plan. Items 5 and
6 combine to reduce this to 60 days (the
consideration period ). However, the Secretary will effectively be
able extend this time by a maximum of another 45 days where, in
order to make a decision on the plan, additional information is
requested from the person (the maritime industry participant )
seeking approval of the plan.
Currently, there is no mechanism for a maritime industry
participant to voluntarily vary (as opposed to revise ) a maritime
security plan. They would have to submit a revised plan to the
Secretary, which would have a life of five years that is,
effectively it would be a new plan. Item 8 allows
a maritime industry participant to request the existing security
plan to be varied. The criteria for approval of a variation by the
Secretary are the same as for a new plan.
Schedule 2 amends a wide range of legislation
administered within the Transport and Regional Services portfolio.
With a handful of exceptions, they are unrelated to transport
The amendments amend the various Acts to bring their drafting
and operation into line with the Legislative Instruments Act
2003, which came into force in January 2005. These are
essentially consequential amendments and there appear to be no
substantive changes to Parliamentary scrutiny etc of the provisions
covered by Schedule 2.
Item 1 makes a minor drafting change by
correcting the name of the MSOFTA in paragraphs 15(1A)(a) and (b)
of the Customs Act 1901.
- More information on the SOLAS Convention can be obtained from
the relevant webpage of the International Maritime Organisation:
- The Hon Warren Truss, Minister for Transport and Regional
Services, House of Representatives, Debates, 29 March
2006, p. 10.
- Personal communication, Australian Ship Owners Association, 24
- Personal communication, Association of Australian Ports and
Marine Authorities, 24 April 2006.
24 May 2006
Bills Digest Service
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