Coastal Shipping Reform

The Australian Government is committed to coastal shipping reform to ensure safe, secure and efficient coastal shipping as part of Australia's national transport system.

Operators and agents of both Australian and foreign flagged ships have raised a number of concerns about the operation of the current regime that regulates coastal shipping in Australia, specifically with regards to the administrative burden that it imposes.

On 21 March 2017 the Government released a discussion paper to seek the views of stakeholders on proposed amendments to the regulatory regime to address these issues PDF: 693 KB ReadSpeaker DOCX: 741 KB. This consultation process sought to:

  • identify any implications of the proposed changes to the regulatory regime and related legislation; and
  • identify any further possible improvements to the regulatory regime.

Submissions were encouraged from stakeholders including, but not limited to: ship owners and operators, employee and employer representatives, users of shipping services, industry associations, maritime unions, government agencies, and interested members of the public. The deadline for submissions in response to this discussion paper was Friday 12 May 2017.

After consideration of the submissions, the Government introduced the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Amendment Bill 2017 into Parliament on 13 September 2017. The Bill aims to create a simpler and more flexible coastal shipping industry that carries an increased share of Australia's freight. The reforms are based on those proposed in the discussion paper.