On-the-spot fines to keep waterways clean
Operators who fail to meet their ship-sourced pollution prevention responsibilities will face swift penalties with Maritime Safety Queensland marine officers now able to issue on-the-spot fines of more than $1000.Maritime Safety Queensland is committed to protecting the environment and these new powers send a very clear message that our waterways should be kept safe and clean.
Previously, offenders would be issued with a summons to have the matter heard in court at a later date, which could result in lengthy delays and excessive costs to the taxpayer.
Marine officers can now board a vessel with a ticket book and deal with specific breaches there and then. Some offences such as failing to keep proper records of sewage and oil disposal or not having proper sewage treatment units on board carry fines of $1100.
The new powers will be particularly relevant to ports where the large volume and frequency of shipping activity requires a high level of cooperation between vessel operators and regulators. Already marine officers and their water police partners have conducted a series of compliance operations in Gladstone Harbour focusing primarily on safety and pollution obligations.
These new powers will give them added opportunities to protect not only ships’ crews and passengers, but the environment as well.