This year has been challenging (see Chair's foward). As demonstrated in the following pages, despite the challenges, AMSA has largely delivered on its performance targets for the year, and in doing so, continued to deliver on its vison of ‘safe and clean seas, saving lives’.
The year started positively. In August 2019 the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development opened a large office in Coffs Harbour—demonstrating our commitment to improve domestic vessel safety, and to regional Australia.
The standard of foreign flagged-ships visiting Australia was consistent with previous years, with no significant trends or concerns identified.
For the domestic commercial fleet, there were two fatalities during the year—down from nine in 2018–19. While two fatalities constitute a tragedy, AMSA is encouraged by the decrease—but at the same time acknowledges that several more years of data is needed to identify a trend. We remain committed to a target of zero fatalities.
For operators and seafarers that found themselves unable to comply with the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (National Law) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AMSA offered a range of National Law Act Exemptions to assist. Additionally, an automatic six-month extension on the renewal of certificates of competency was provided to
Prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, AMSA held a number of workshops and education sessions on topics including the YM Efficiency clean-up, dory safety workshops (see Case study: Fishing dory safety campaign), and safety management system workshops (see Case study: Safety Management System workshops). Consultation with industry was also undertaken on proposed changes to a range of marine orders (including 47, 21, 63, 58 and 504), and the final AMSA/Maritime Industry Australia Limited (MIAL) roundtable in October 2019 which provided stakeholders with updates about the IMO’s work on implementing the 1 January 2020 sulphur cap (see Case study: Sulphur 2020).
We have invited feedback on numerous heritage management plans and our 2020–21 Cost Recovery Implementation Statement. Details of past and open consultations can be found on our website [amsa.gov.au/news-community/consultations]. We encourage you to continue to have your say about the future of our industry.
From a clean seas/pollution response perspective, the YM Efficiency clean-up was a stand-out. In April 2020 the MV Pride docked in Newcastle Port to begin the clean-up of the containers lost from the YM Efficiency. Ardent Oceania, the successful tenderer for the job, spent 34 days removing 63 containers from the sea floor. Avcon Projects Australasia managed the processing and disposal of the recovered waste (see Case study: YM Efficiency clean-up operation).
In May 2020, the changes to requirements for passenger safety contained in Marine Order 504—Certificates of operation and operation requirement – national law) Amendment 2020 came into effect. The measures were introduced with the aim of improving passenger safety and are in response to recent fatal and serious incidents involving missing passengers.
With the crucial assistance of our partner agencies at all levels of government, AMSA saved 199 lives this year through its search and rescue activities. We strive to save all lives (100%) at risk during an incident, but practically the circumstances of each incident—for instance, severe weather, time taken for the initial notification to emergency services, location of the incident—make this target incredibly difficult to achieve. The 199 lives saved represents a 99 per cent result