MINISTER for infrastructure and transport Catherine King has extended an exemption from the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 for cruise ships.

The exemption will mean eligible cruise operators do not need a licence for coastal trading.

The exemption applies from 1 January 2024 through 31 December 2024 and replaces the current exemption which ends on 31 December 2023.

Ms King said the one-year exemption would provide additional time to consult on a range of potential amendments to the Coastal Trading Act to aid in the “revitalisation of the Australian maritime industry”.

“Covid-19 really affected tourism and the cruise industry, so the Australian government is continuing to support cruise tourism by guaranteeing another year of the exemption,” she said.

“The exemption reduces red tape and costs while supporting THRIVE 2030, our national strategy for the long-term sustainable growth of the visitor economy.”

The exemption applies to vessels in excess of 5000 gross tonnes which are:

  • capable of a speed of at least 15 knots,
  • capable of carrying at least 100 passengers, and
  • used wholly or primarily for the carriage of passengers between any ports in states or territories, except between Victoria and Tasmania.