STARTING on July 1 2018, AMSA will be the sole service provider under the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety, and ministers from the commonwealth, states and territories committing more than $100m to support operators during the transition.
Infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester said for the first time, Australia’s domestic commercial vessel industries would benefit from nationally consistent delivery of safety services.
“Following careful consideration of industry feedback and year-long negotiations, I have finalised the $102.4m transition package with my state and territory colleagues,” he said.
“The Australian government is committing $55m to this transition package in recognition of the importance of the domestic commercial vessel industries to the Australian economy.”
Mr Chester said changes to the national system would ensure consistent fees for vessel services across all Australian jurisdictions and a cost-recovery levy gradually phased in to allow time for industry to adjust and prepare for the changes.
“No levy will be charged to industry in the first year of AMSA’s service delivery to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all operators as charging arrangements are standardised and services transition,” he said.
“Levy charges will gradually increase until our industries fund around 80 per cent of the national system, with the balance funded by the Australian government. Importantly, AMSA will continue to look at ways to reduce the administrative burden and will engage closely with industry in the lead up to 1 July 2018.”
Maritime Industry Australia (MIAL) CEO Teresa Lloyd said MIAL members were relieved that there would be no cost recovery in the first year to provide time to design a fair, equitable and sustainable funding model.
“An extended timeframe for phasing in the cost recovery regime was also something that MIAL called for and we are satisfied that industry’s concerns regarding the hardship that would have been caused by a more aggressive fee hike have been recognised,” she said.
Ms Lloyd also said MIAL was also pleased that the announcement puts an end to the $25m cross-subsidisation of the DCV sector by the large shipping sector – the source of the AMSA funds that have been used to facilitate the AMSA functions for DCVs to date.
“Domestic Commercial Vessel safety and the economic viability of the sector are critical to Australia’s prosperity,” she said.
“MIAL welcomes the commitment shown by the commonwealth, state and territory governments by taking the next step forward in this important process.”