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Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Section 1: Agency overview and resources

1.1: Strategic direction

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is a statutory authority established under the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990 (AMSA Act), with the primary role to:

  • promote maritime safety and protection of the marine environment;
  • prevent and combat ship-sourced pollution in the marine environment;
  • provide infrastructure to support safety of navigation in Australian waters;
  • provide a national search and rescue service to the maritime and aviation sectors;
  • provide, on request, services to the maritime industry on a commercial basis; and
  • provide, on request, services of a maritime nature on a commercial basis to the Commonwealth and/or States and Territories.

AMSA's vision is to be a world leading provider of maritime safety, marine environment protection, and maritime and aviation search and rescue.

AMSA's Outcome Statement is to minimise the risk of shipping incidents and pollution in Australian waters through ship safety and environment protection regulation and services and maximise people saved from maritime and aviation incidents through search and rescue coordination.

Cost Recovery and Purchaser-Provider arrangements

AMSA's ship safety and environment protection services are fully cost recovered from the shipping industry mainly through three statutory levies and fee for service sources, in line with the Australian Government's policy decision when AMSA was established in 1990. AMSA's search and rescue coordination services are met by the Australian Government through Budget Community Service Obligation funding. Australia is obliged under several international conventions to provide search and rescue services for persons in aircraft and vessels in distress in Australia's internationally designated search and rescue region.

AMSA has entered into an agreement with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Infrastructure) for a purchaser-provider arrangement to cover the provision of transport safety assistance to Indonesia. Funds for the project are to be appropriated to Infrastructure and subsequently provided to AMSA in 2009-10.

There are no new budget measures affecting AMSA in the 2009-2010 Budget and no changes in AMSA's functions.


AMSA's operating environment is influenced by a number of external factors, the more important of these in 2009-10 are:

  • maintaining a high level of service in an uncertain economic environment;
  • supporting the Government's maritime reform agenda;
  • ensuring ongoing capacity of the search and rescue program; and
  • progressing issues associated with coastal pilotage in the Torres Strait and Great Barrier Reef and implementing under keel clearance management arrangements.

The operating environment over the next three years is expected to be shaped by the following factors:

  • Continued stakeholder support for world leading services in maritime safety, marine environment protection, and maritime and aviation search and rescue.
  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO) promoting Australia's participation in the development, implementation and upgrading of its conventions.
  • Initiatives and trends in the maritime industry potentially impacting on AMSA's service delivery, including:
    • potential skills shortages in Australia;
    • volatility in shipping financial indicators and their potential impact on ship operations in relation to financial demands on ship owners and operators;
    • expanding port and offshore developments; and
    • technological developments affecting marine navigation safety, emergency and pollution response techniques and search and rescue services.
  • Stakeholder and community expectations that AMSA will:
    • continue to support stakeholders in the maritime industry;
    • effectively enforce ship safety and environment protection standards;
    • provide a national network of aids to navigation to assist safe navigation of commercial shipping;
    • provide strong leadership on maritime matters through forums, working groups and provision of resources; and
    • coordinate search and rescue services in Australia's search and rescue region.
  • The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) expecting Australia's participation in developing new and upgraded standards for marine aids to navigation.
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) promoting Australian adoption of instruments governing maritime industry labour standards, including the Consolidated Maritime Labour Convention 2006.

1.2: Agency resource statement

Table 1.1 shows the total resources from all origins. The table summarises how resources will be applied by outcome and by administered and departmental classification.

Table 1.1: Agency resource statement - Budget estimates for 2009-10 as at Budget May 2009 

1.3: Budget measures

Table 1.2 provides a summary of government measures and identifies the relevant program associated with each measure.

Table 1.2: Agency 2009-10 Budget measures

AMSA does not have any new measures in the 2009-10 Budget.

1.4: Transition from outcomes and outputs to outcomes and programs

From the 2009-10 Budget, all General Government Sector (GGS) entities will be reporting on a program basis. The table below outlines the transition from the 2008-09 Budget year (as at 2008-09 Budget) which was presented in outputs and output groups to the program reporting framework used for the 2009-10 Budget. The table also captures revisions made to GGS outcome statements under the Operation Sunlight Outcome Statements Review.

Figure 1.1: Transition table

2008-09 Budget Year 2009-10 Budget year
Portfolio Outcome: Fostering an efficient, sustainable, competitive, safe and secure transport system. AMSA's Outcome 1: Minimise the risk of shipping incidents and pollution in Australian waters through ship safety and environment protection regulation and services and maximise people saved from maritime and aviation incidents through search and rescue coordination
  AMSA Program: Ship Safety, Environment Protection and Search and Rescue
Output Group 1: Ship Operations, Safety and Marine Environment Protection Program AMSA Subprogram 1.1: Ship Safety and Environment Protection
Output 1.1: Regulatory measures for ship safety and environment protection
  • Special Appropriations
  • Revenue from other sources
  • Special Appropriations
  • Revenue from Independent Sources
Output 1.2: Monitoring compliance with safety and environment standards
  • Special Appropriations
  • Revenue from other sources
Output 1.3: Responding to marine pollution risks
  • Special Appropriations
Output 1.4: Systems for aiding safe marine navigation
  • Special Appropriations
Output Group 2: Search and rescue Program AMSA Subprogram 1.2: Search and Rescue
Output 2.1: Maritime and aviation search and rescue  
  • Annual Appropriations
  • Revenue from other sources
  • Ordinary Annual Services
  • Revenue from Independent Sources


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Budget 2009-10