The majority of AIMPE members working on vessels are covered by Federal legislation. There is a vast array of laws in place but here are some of the more important laws which members may find useful. To check on all current Federal legislation visit: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Home
Since 2012 the Federal Navigation Act applies principally to international trading vessels. This legislation adopts IMO Conventions such as SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW and CollRegs. It also applies the Maritime Labour Convention which is of most importance to visiting foreign seafarers. Interstate trading ships can opt to be covered by the Navigation Act.
Navigation Act 2012
Marine Order 72
Most commercial vessels in Australia have been covered by the Domestic Commercial Vessels Act since 2012:
Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessels) Act 2012
Marine Order 505
The carriage of cargoes and passengers between Australian ports is regulated by the Coastal Trading Act 2012 - however under this legislation over 8,000 Temporary Licences have been granted to foreign flag ships with foreign crews to operate between Australian ports.
The number of Australian flag major trading ships licenced under the Coastal Trading Act 2012 has fallen to 11.
The Coastal Trading Act has failed to Revitalise Australian Shipping.
Coastal Trading Act 2012
Coastal_Trading_Act_2012.pdf (616.09 KB)
The Shipping Registration Act 2012 continued the previous policy of requiring Australian owned ships to be registered here in Australia.
However this allows for international corporations to own ships in other countries and avoid Australian registration.
By contrast the Australian Avitation legislation requires aircraft the wish to operate in Australia to be registered in Australia - no matter what company owns them and no matter where that company is located.
The Shipping Registration Act should be amended to require all ships operating anywhere in Australia's EEZ to be registered in this country.
Shipping Registration Act 2012
Shipping Reform Taxation Incentives Act 2012
Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003
OHS and Compensation Legislation
Members working on vessels which used to be covered by the old Navigation Act 1912 are covered by the Seacare scheme - however this has been an area of on-going dispute.Furthermore there was a proposal in 2015 to merge the Seacare scheme into the Federal Government's Comcare scheme.
For now the following legislation still applies:
Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992
Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) 1993
(updated 16 12 22)
The Fair Work Act was amended on 6th December 2022.
The Amendment Act can be found below:
Fair Work Amendment Act 2022
The ACTU has prepared a briefing note about the changes contained in the Fair Work Amendment Act 2022.
Some of the more significant changes for AIMPE members will be:
- Termination of Enterprise Agreements will be far more restricted immediately - very important for Svitzer members;
- Initiation of enterprise bargaining will be open to unions - but this will close off some options;
- Multi-employer bargaining will be available from July 2023 - possibly relevant for Offshore sector; and
- Limit to the number of fixed term contracts that a person can be required to accept.
The Registered Organisations Commission will be abolished as a separate agency. Its staff and functions will revert to the Fair Work Commission.
The Federal Government has announced that there will be a second instalment of industrial relations legislation in 2023.
Most AIMPE members who are working in Australia are covered by the Federal Fair Work Act. This legislation governs Enterprise Bargaining, Enterprise Agreements and Unfair Dismissals among other things. Here is the Act prior to the above Amendment Act being enacted by the Federal Parliament.
Fair Work Act 2009
fair_work_act_2009_as_at_01_05_17_vol_1_____c2017c00144vol01.pdf (4.44 MB Mon May 1 15:59:22 2017)
fair_work_act_2009_as_at_01_05_17____vol_2_____c2017c00144vol02.pdf (3.71 MB Mon May 1 16:02:34 2017)
AIMPE is registered under Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act which sets down the requires for trade union rules, financial accounts, elections and related matters.
Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009