Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 16 February 1989 The purpose of this bill is to revise the Marine Act which came into effect in November 1981. That act brought into effect a framework of marine legislation for the Northern Territory and called up the uniform Shipping Laws Code, which is now accepted by every state in Australia. After the act had been in effect for 5 years, my department decided it was necessary to review it. A review has been carried out in consultation with the Departments of Law and Primary Industry and Fisheries, police, unions, the Confederation of Industry and the marine industry, including tourist boat operators and professional fishermen. As a result, we have the present bill which seeks to amend the Marine Act on the following bases: the need to tidy up minor errors and omissions of the kind which are bound to occur in any new legislation; the need to modify some provisions which have proven difficult to interpret, administer and enforce in practice; and the need to update provisions, where necessary, to reflect changes in policy and circumstances which have occurred since the act came into force. The amendment bill also introduces some new provisions in the act. In some cases, such as those provisions relating to dealing with wrecks, this is to replace archaic legislation such as the South Australian Marine Board and Navigation Act 1881, which is still in effect in the Northern Territory although long since repealed in South Australia. It may interest you to know, Mr Speaker, that the latter act empowers officers of my department to 'demand the use of any wagon, cart or horses that may be near at hand' for the purposes of preservation of a wreck. The penalty for non-compliance is 100 pounds. Other amendments include a new provision to prevent vessels from mooring across rivers and other waterways, thus impeding the navigation of other craft, and a provision to deal with the situation where the master of 1 vessel deliberately interferes with another vessel at sea. Both these provisions are introduced in response to instances which have occurred over the past few years. The legislation reflects some changes in policy. Honourable members will be aware that the Territory has a growing tourist industry and that many of those tourists take the opportunity to go fishing or boating. This bill amends the survey and certificate of competency requirements in the current act to exempt commercial operators of boats under 5 m, if operating in sheltered or inland waters. This will enable safari operators and fishing guides to use small craft to carry additional persons, up to a maximum of 3, without the need to comply with the requirement for larger commercial vessels. Thus the bill facilitates such operations without making unnecessary compromises with safety. Safety is the prime object of this marine legislation and we aim to maintain standards of safety for the public in keeping with those in the states of Australia without imposing unnecessarily onerous and bureaucratic restraints on people's activities. It is hoped that this bill will amend the Marine Act in such a way as to achieve this object. I commend the bill. Debate adjourned. HEALTH PRACTITIONERS AND ALLIED PROFESSIONALS REGISTRATION AMENDMENT BILL (Serial 148) Continued from 24 November 1988. 5605