Guidelines—Maritime employment grant


The Queensland Government is implementing its 'Backing Queensland Maritime Jobs Initiative' (BQMJ Initiative), under which financial assistance will be made available under 3 grant programs:

  • Coastal Shipping Grant Program
  • Maritime Employment Grant Program
  • Maritime Training Grant Program

Maritime Safety Queensland, for State of Queensland, through the Department of Transport and Main Roads (referred to in these Guidelines as MSQ, We or Us, depending on the context) is responsible for administering the BQMJ Initiative.

These 'Backing Queensland Maritime Jobs initiative, Maritime Employment Grant Program Guidelines' (Guidelines) deal specifically with the Maritime Employment Grant Program. The Coastal Shipping Grant and Maritime Training Grant Programs will be dealt with in separate documents.  

These Guidelines set out: 

  • General information about the BQMJ Initiative.
  • The purpose of the Maritime Employment Grant Program.
  • The eligibility and assessment criteria.
  • How applications are to be made and how they will be considered and selected.
  • How successful applicants will be notified and receive grant payments.
  • How achievement of required milestones associated with grants will be monitored and evaluated.
  • Responsibilities and expectations in relation to the opportunity. 

This guideline provides information on how to apply for a grant under the Maritime Employment Grant Program and should be read in conjunction with both the Maritime Employment Grant Program Application form and the Maritime Employment & Training Grant Programs Terms and Conditions prior to applying. 

Backing Queensland Maritime Jobs Initiative

Queensland has around 7,000km of mainland coastline comprising large expanses within the environmentally important Great Barrier Reef, world class reaches of open beach line, the rich and diverse waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria and numerous bays, islets, inlets, and port precincts allowing for responsible access to these marine areas for both recreational and economic purposes.

Queensland has a rich history of coastal shipping assisting economic growth and achieving advances in social infrastructure across the State. However, over recent times sea transport has suffered as other transport sectors have grown with the road and rail network expanded to meet the State’s need for passenger and freight access in both coastal and inland regions. There is now a re-awakening of the advantages that an innovative and sustainable marine cargo system can contribute to the State.

Coastal shipping offers real potential for assisting economic growth, improving the resilience of the State’s supply chains and employment growth. Accordingly, the Queensland Government has committed $21 million to the BQMJ Initiative, with the goal of creating ongoing maritime jobs in Queensland. Under the BQMJ Initiative, financial assistance will be made available under 3 grant programs, as set out earlier. 

The BQMJ Initiative aims to revitalise and strengthen coastal shipping, and in doing so assist economic growth and importantly see the creation of strategically important maritime jobs and training opportunities in Queensland. This will improve Queensland's economic and logistical resilience and reduce its reliance on foreign flagged vessels and associated risks to the State’s supply lines. 

The majority of funding that will be released under the BQMJ Initiative will occur between January 2023 to June 2025.

The Maritime Employment Grant Program provides funding to facilitate the creation of new employment opportunities, including traineeships, in the marine sector. Investment in employment across the maritime industry - through the Maritime Employment Grant Program, combined with investment in maritime training - through the Maritime Training Grant Program, supports a skilled maritime workforce for Queensland.

About the Maritime Employment Grant Program

The Maritime Employment Grant Program seeks applications from capable and knowledgeable commercial entities (referred to as Applicants or You in these Guidelines, depending on the context) to engage new employees in the maritime sector. This includes employment of trainees. 

The Maritime Employment Grant Program is available to businesses in the maritime industry operating throughout Queensland. Applicants will need to demonstrate how their proposal will support the creation of viable and sustainable local maritime jobs.

Capable and knowledgeable commercial entities in the maritime industry that meet the eligibility criteria stated in these Guidelines are invited to apply using the application form located at the webpage.

Applicants should note the following:

  • In responding to the selection criteria, applications must detail the amount of grant funding that they consider necessary for each new employee.
  • The Maritime Employment Grant Program offers up to $50,000 or 50% of the total employment costs for a new position (whichever is the lesser) per year for 2 years. 
  • Grants will be awarded on the basis of merit through a competitive application and selection process.  
  • Applications will be assessed by an assessment panel convened by MSQ. 
  • Successful Applicants will need to achieve agreed milestones in order to receive grant payments.

Grants under the Maritime Employment Grant Program are intended to be paid to successful Applicants progressively in agreed tranches or as other determined by MSQ, in each case subject to the Applicant entering into and complying with the terms of the formal Grant Agreement, as broadly described later in these Guidelines (Grant Agreement).

Maritime Employment Grant Program objectives

The objective of the Maritime Employment Grant Program is to offer financial assistance to eligible employers in the maritime industry to create new and sustainable employment opportunities for Queensland seafarers. New employment may include traineeships. 

How many Maritime Employment Grants can be entered into?  

An eligible employer may apply for as many Maritime Employment Grants for new positions they wish. Applications will only be accepted during the grant application period. 

Eligibility criteria

Who is eligible to apply for a grant?

To be eligible for a grant under the Maritime Employment Grant Program, an Applicant must:

  • Be a corporation.
  • Have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST.
  • Have a bank account in the Applicant’s name.
  • Hold all relevant licences and certificates including relevant safety qualifications for the proposed operations and training
  • Have its headquarters or a major office located in Queensland.
  • Be part of the maritime industry and be connected to the sea or waterways. This includes but not limited to:
    • Marine tourism operators.
    • Passenger transportation.
    • Marine construction, dredging or towage.
    • Marine logistics, coastal freight, and port services.
    • Fishing and seafood processing.
    • Boat and ship building and vessel maintenance.
  • Not be a person or entity described in the following section Who is not eligible to apply for a grant.

Who is not eligible to apply for a grant?

The following are not eligible to apply for a grant under the Maritime Employment Grant Program:

  • A Commonwealth, state or local government agency or body (including government-owned corporations but not necessarily subsidiaries or entities controlled by government-owned corporations). Unless expressly authorised by MSQ.
  • Entities that are incorporated or registered under an Act of Parliament with not-for-profit objectives.
  • Entities that are:
    • Relying on a moratorium or cap on any State-based statutory fees. 
    • Not subject to any current AMSA, ATSB, MSQ or other comparable regulatory agency investigations or prosecutions relating to unsafe operations, environmental damage or contamination
    • Insolvent or have any owner or director who is an undischarged bankrupt.  
  • Already in receipt of the following Queensland and Commonwealth Government Grants for the positions proposed:
    • Back to Work – South East Queensland Program.
    • Back to Work – Regional Program.
    • Indigenous Skills and Employment Program.
    • 1,000 Jobs Package (Tranche Two) Grant Funding Round. 
  • In receipt of Coastal Shipping Grant Program funding unless the application for the Maritime Employment Grant Program is for new employment opportunities not related to the coastal shipping service.

Positions covered by the grant

Grant funding is available for an eligible position directly related to the maritime industry and must be:

  • Predominately located in Queensland, including within the Exclusive Economic Zone which extends up to 200 nautical miles off Queensland's coast. 
  • Ongoing and paid on a full-time basis (working at least 35 hours per week on average)
  • Ongoing and paid on a part-time basis (working at least 20 hours per week on average).

We may consider applications for new positions that are located outside the Exclusive Economic Zone, however additional conditions may be added to the Grant Agreement. 

Positions not covered by the grant

Grant funding does not cover positions which are:

  • A casual position including no firm advanced commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.  
  • Short-term or periodic employment such as engagements that are short term in nature (for example, weekly hire basis).
  • Employees transitioning from casual or periodic employment to ongoing part-time or ongoing full-time employment. 
  • Positions that will displace any existing employees within the organisation. 

Which new employees are eligible for grant funding?

Grants awarded under the Maritime Employment Grant Program are limited to new employees who:

  • Are a permanent resident of Australia and be domiciled in Queensland;
    • A domicile address is considered to be Your permanent home or legal residence.  A person may have a number of residential addresses but will always have a single domicile address. If a seafarer works interstate, but their abode is in Queensland, then they may be regarded as being domiciled in Queensland.
  • Have not been employed by the eligible employer applying for grant funding in the 52 weeks prior to the commencement date provided in the application.
  • Are able to commence employment with the eligible employer as soon as practicable.
  • Have not been in paid employment with the eligible employer for more than 12 weeks at the time of submitting the application. 

Employees not eligible for grant funding

Grants awarded under the Maritime Employment Grant Program are not available for employees who are: 

  • An owner of the company, business or joint venture applying for the Maritime Employment Grant Program. 
  • A sole trader applying for the Maritime Employment Grant Program.
  • A partner in a partnership applying for the Maritime Employment Grant Program.
  • A director of the company applying for the Maritime Employment Grant Program.
  • A significant shareholder (more than 50% shareholding) in the company applying for the Maritime Employment Grant Program.
  • An owner under a trust arrangement of the entity applying for the Maritime Employment Grant Program. This may include the trustee, a beneficiary under the trust and/or being an owner of a directly controlled or related entity. 

Assessment criteria 

Applicants must address all of the following assessment criteria in their application. The application form contains some guidance in relation to each criterion. We will assess applications based on the following criteria. While We reserve the right to change the weighting given to any particular criterion, the criteria are weighted as indicated as follows.

Criterion 1 – Sustainability of the employment – 30%

Applicants should demonstrate this through:

  • Evidence of a genuine commitment to the ongoing employment of the employee.  This can be demonstrated by including details of in-kind support that will be provided by Your organisation.

Criterion 2 – Impact of role – 30%

Applicants should demonstrate this through:

  • Evidence of responsibilities of the role and how it is connected to the operation of a vessel or other relevant maritime related activities. 

Criterion 3 – Equity and diversity – 20%

Applicants should demonstrate this through:

  •  Evidence of equity and diversity policies in recruiting new employees. 

Criterion 4 – Employment demand – 20%

Applicants should demonstrate this through:

  • Evidence of how the proposed employees will meet the organisation's needs as well as the maritime industry needs.

How to Apply 

Before applying, You must read and understand these Guidelines. The application documents may be found at the webpage. 

Number of applications

Eligible employers are not limited to the number of new employees for which grant funding is available under the Maritime Employment Grant Program. MSQ reserves the right to determine how many offers are made. 

Over the period of the BQMJ Initiative, multiple rounds may be offered for submission of applications for the Maritime Employment Grant Program.   

The application process

An application is required for each eligible new employee.

To apply, You must:

  • Complete the Maritime Employment Grant Program Application form found at
  • Provide all the information requested.
  • Address all eligibility criteria and assessment criteria.
  • Attach all required documents.
  • Submit the application via email to by advertised closing date.

It is the responsibility of the Applicant to ensure contact information is kept up to date to enable the Backing Queensland Maritime Jobs Initiative team to make contact as needed.  

Each Applicant is responsible for ensuring that its application is complete and accurate. We will investigate any false or misleading information and may exclude an application from further consideration. 

If You identify an error in Your application after submitting it, You should contact Us immediately via  Subject to this, applications cannot be changed after the closing date and time. 

If MSQ identifies an error in an application or information that is missing, it may ask the Applicant for clarification or additional information. However, MSQ can refuse to accept any additional information from You that would change Your submission after the application closing time.   

You should keep a copy of Your application and any supporting documents. 

We will acknowledge receipt of Your application, generally within 10 working days of Your submission. 

If You need further guidance around the application process or if You are unable to submit an application online, please contact Us via

Questions during the application process

If You have any questions during the application process, please contact the Backing Queensland Maritime Jobs Initiative team by emailing The Backing Queensland Maritime Jobs Initiative team will respond to emailed questions, generally within 10 working days. 

Answers to all universal questions will be posted via the 

Grant Assessment Process


We will review applications against the eligibility criteria as per Eligibility criteria section. 

If an Applicant is deemed ineligible, the application will not be further considered. The Applicant will be informed if their application will not be considered. All information submitted by the Applicant must be current, up to date, and not be misleading due to omissions or partial disclosure, which will give MSQ the discretion to set aside the application.

Assessment process

Each valid application submitted by an eligible Applicant will be assessed by the assessment panel against the assessment criteria described in Assessment criteria section and be ranked against other applications.

The assessment panel may shortlist applications to progress to the final stage of the application process.

The assessment panel may invite any Applicant to provide a presentation, either in person or online, which will provide an opportunity for the Applicant to showcase its proposed employment approach and how new employees will be managed. Presentations will also allow the assessment panel to ask questions and clarify the information provided by the Applicant, although it is not MSQ's intention to permit a presentation to include changes to an application. 

Incomplete applications may be accepted for consideration or rejected at the discretion of MSQ and the assessment panel.

The assessment panel will recommend applications for a grant based on how well the respective Applicants met the criteria in both their written application and any presentation. 

The assessment panel will make recommendations as to which applications to approve for a grant. 

Additional information

You may be requested to provide additional information and documents to assist in determining if eligibility criteria have been met. 

If You have been requested to provide further information, generally You will have 10 business days to supply the requested documentation. If You require more than 10 business days to provide the requested documentation, You must notify Us via email to

If the required information is not provided within 10 business days, or within the agreed timeframe, the application will not be considered. 


We will advise You of the outcome of Your application in writing via email. If You are successful, We will advise You of any specific conditions that may be attached to the grant. 

Processing Your application

Once applications are received, and if all information and documents are included, processing will be completed within 28 days of submission. This may change depending on application volume. 

If You have been requested to provide more information following an initial assessment of Your application, the 28 days commences again upon re-submission of the application.

If an application is not approved, can a review of the decision be requested? 

An appeal must be made within 28 days of receipt of the formal advice from MSQ and will need to include:

  • The grounds on which You are seeking the appeal
  • Any additional information in support of the appeal.

Review of decision requests may be declined in instances where the decision is made on public interest grounds. 

Appeals must be submitted via email to


What grant funding is available?

The Maritime Employment Grant Program provides grant funding up to $50,000 or 50% of the total employment costs for a position (whichever is the lesser) per year for 2 years. The grant is available to employers to secure workers in an eligible position as defined in these guidelines. 

How will Maritime Employment Grant Program payments be distributed? 

Unless payment terms are otherwise negotiated:

  • Four payments will be made across the 2-year period of the grant. 
  • The 4 payments will be paid 6 monthly in arrears. 
  • Required documents must be provided via

To facilitate a grant payment, employers must submit an application after each six-month period of employment. The application must include all pay advice/payslips from the six-month period of employment. 

Pay advice/payslips will be used to provide evidence of continuous permanent employment; timesheets or a payroll summary report are not sufficient. The ABN and name on the pay advice/payslips You provide must match the ABN and name on Your ABN confirmation advice and organisation account.

Pay advice/payslips must meet the minimum requirements as set out by Fair Work Australia under the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Fair Work Regulations 2009. This includes any superannuation contributions paid for the employee’s benefit, including the amount of contributions made during the pay period (or the amount of contributions that need to be made).Information on the legal requirements for pay advice/payslips is available through the Fair Work Australia website.

The BQMJ Jobs Initiative team may contact employers to provide additional pay advice/payslips to determine minimum hours worked.

Successful Grant Applications

Grant Agreement

If Your application is approved, You will be required to enter into a legally binding Grant Agreement with Us in order for any grant payments to be made. We will prepare the Grant Agreement and provide You with a copy to review.  We recommend that successful Applicants seek their own independent advice before entering into a Grant Agreement.  You may elect not to enter into a Grant Agreement, but in that case, You will not be able to receive any grant funding under the Maritime Employment Grant Program.

The Grant Agreement includes Your application, the terms and conditions, and the letter of offer, which outline the approved funding, purpose of the grant, approved items, and reporting requirements. 

We may impose additional conditions as part of the Grant Agreement.

When accepting the Grant Agreement, You must provide Us the signed letter of offer, emailed to

First payment 

The first payment will be made after Your new employee has been in ongoing and continuous paid full-time or part-time employment with Your organisation for 6 months. 

To progress the first payment, You must provide documents as outlined as follows.

Documents are to be emailed to

Identification of new employee 

You must provide evidence of the identity of the new employee engaged and information on the role created. Acceptable employee identification documents are:

  • An Australian driver licence.
  • Adult proof of age card (for example, 18+ card).
  • Birth certificate.
  • Citizenship certificate.
  • Passport.

Note: if a non-Australian passport is being submitted as evidence, a letter issued by the Australian Government to the employee outlining their visa details must also be submitted.

The employee identification documents must be current at the date of application. The first name, surname, and date of birth on the employee identification must match the first name, surname, and date of birth on the application documents.

New employee consent form 

You must provide an employee consent form signed by the new employee whose position will be benefiting from the Maritime Employment Grant Program (employee consent form available at

Proof of employment

You must provide all pay advice/payslips for the initial 6-month period of employment as evidence of both continuous permanent employment and the date the new employee commenced employment. 

Bank details

To facilitate payment of the grant, You must provide either a copy of Your organisation's most recent bank statement or a stamped and signed bank correspondence on a bank letterhead confirming bank details. 

Workcover Policy or Licence

You must provide Your WorkCover Policy or Licence Number and expiration date to progress payment. Information You provide, including Your WorkCover Policy or Licence Number, may be disclosed to WorkCover for the purpose of verifying Your compliance of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld). 

In Queensland, under the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld), an employer must, for each worker employed, insure, and remain insured for their legal liability to pay compensation and damages to their workers. 

Subsequent payments 

To facilitate subsequent payments, You will need to provide pay advice/payslips following each 6-month period of employment as evidence of continuous and permanent employment.  

Additionally, Applicants must reaffirm that they continue to meet the eligibility criteria for grant funding, and also reaffirm the new employee meets eligibility criteria. 

Applicants are required to email these to

Ceased employment / changes to employment

If a new employee for whom You are receiving grant funding ceases employment, We will pay pro-rata for the actual period of employment. After this final payment has been made the grant funding will cease for this employee.

If the new employee's employment conditions significantly change (for example, they move from full-time to part-time) after an application has been made, You must notify the BQMJ Initiative team in writing as these changes may impact Your grant funding. Any changes are to be in writing to providing:

  • The date the employment ceased or changed.
  • An explanation of the reason why the employee ceased employment or had their employment conditions altered.

This information will be held on record for program monitoring and audit purposes.  

If it is determined that a grant payment has been made for which the eligibility criteria were not met, We will seek to recover that payment. 

Acquitting Grant Agreement


You must provide evidence of how the grant funding was expended - this is called acquittal. 

You must acquit grant funding by the agreed expiry date in your Grant Agreement.

Assurance checks 

We reserve the right to perform quality assurance checks (which may include site visits) for employers receiving grant funding.  

What happens if the Maritime Employment Grant Program is discontinued?  

Advice will be published on the Backing Queensland Maritime Jobs webpage if funding is no longer available, or the program has been discontinued.

Any concerns or questions as to the status of the program can be sent to

Tax Implications

The taxation implications of any payments made to an Applicant under the Backing Queensland Maritime Jobs Initiative may differ depending on the Applicant’s personal circumstances. The Queensland Government is unable to provide taxation advice and accordingly We recommend consulting Your own professional adviser to determine any taxation implications that may apply. The Australian Taxation Office has information that may also assist You at

Probity and General Matters

We will make sure that the grant opportunity process is fair, incorporating appropriate safeguards against fraud, unlawful activities, and other inappropriate conduct.    

Enquiries and feedback

Any questions or feedback You have regarding this Maritime Employment Grant Program should be sent to 


Without limiting its rights whatsoever, We reserve the right, in our absolute discretion and at any time after release of these Guidelines and during the grant application, assessment and approval process, to:

  • Amend the structure, procedure, or timing of the application and/or assessment process.
  • Vary or amend the eligibility or assessment criteria without notification.
  • Request further information from an Applicant (including by way of interview or presentation).
  • Conduct our own due diligence investigations and draw on referee checks, outside expertise, and prior knowledge, in assessing any one or more applications.
  • Terminate or suspend the grant application, assessment and/or approval process at any time.
  • Conduct negotiations with any Applicant after applications have been submitted
  • Not provide reasons to any Applicant for any action or decision taken as part of this process. 

No legal relationship

The conduct of the application, assessment and approval process does not give rise to any legal or equitable relationship between Us and any Applicant or potential Applicant.

We may cancel or vary the application, assessment, and approval process at any time, whether before, on or after the closing date for applications. 

An Applicant will not be entitled to claim compensation or loss from Us for any matter arising out of the application, assessment, and approval process, or from the termination, suspension, or exclusion, from the grant application process. 

We will have no obligation to pay any part of an approved grant unless and until a final Grant Agreement has been prepared, including all required details, and is executed by both parties.

Conflicts of interest

Any conflicts of interest could affect the performance of the grant or grant program. There may be a conflict of interest, or perceived conflict of interest, if any of MSQ's staff, any member of the assessment panel or advisor and/or You or any of Your personnel:

  • Has a professional, commercial, or personal relationship with a party who is able to influence the application selection process, such as a MSQ officer or member of the assessment panel.
  • Has a relationship with or interest in, an organisation, which is likely to interfere with or restrict the Applicants from carrying out the proposed activities fairly and independently
  • Has a relationship with, or interest in, an organisation from which they will receive personal gain because the organisation receives a grant under a grant program / grant opportunity. 

You will be asked to declare, as part of Your application, any perceived or existing conflicts of interests or that, to the best of Your knowledge, there is no conflict of interest.

If You later identify an actual, apparent, or perceived conflict of interest, You must inform MSQ in writing immediately.

Assessment panel members and government staff including the decision maker must also declare any conflicts of interest.  

Privacy and information

We collect an Applicant’s personal information for the purposes of:

  • Assessing the Applicant’s application.
  • Managing the Maritime Employment Grant Program
  • Researching and reporting on grant programs. 

We (including our employees) may use and disclose the personal information provided in an application to third parties for these purposes, including:

  • Queensland government departments and agencies. 
  • Commonwealth government departments and agencies. 
  • Other state or territory government departments and agencies
  • Non-government organisations. 

We, or the responsible Minister, may publish grant recipient information on government websites or in media releases while publicising the outcomes of the Maritime Employment Grant Program or the BQMJ Initiative. Published information may include business name, grant amount, suburb/postcode, and outcome details. 

We will only use an Applicant’s personal information for these purposes.  We will handle an Applicant’s personal information in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009.  We will not otherwise use or disclose the information unless authorised or required by law.  Applicants (including potential Applicants) may view the Queensland Government’s privacy guide at 

No canvassing or collusive applications

We will make sure that the grant opportunity process is fair.    

No canvassing

Applicants must not contact officers of MSQ with a view to obtaining information in respect of the application, assessment, or approval process, which is not publicly available or to enhance its prospect of being selected or shortlisted.  Any unauthorised communication or approach by or on behalf of an Applicant to influence, or seek to influence, may, in our absolute discretion, lead to the exclusion of the Applicant from this process.

No collusive applications

Applicants must not collude or communicate with any competing application on any subject related to their application or the application process and must confirm with any external advisor that they are not advising any competing Applicant. Any Applicant found to have:

  1. used common advisors without first notifying MSQ
  2. discussed any aspect of their application with a competing Applicant may be excluded from assessment at MSQ's sole discretion.


These Guidelines are to be used as a guide only. We have taken reasonable steps to ensure that these Guidelines are correct at the time of publication. State of Queensland accepts no responsibility and gives no warranty, guarantee or representation about the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, suitability or otherwise of the information contained in these Guidelines. State of Queensland expressly excludes legal liability in all jurisdictions concerning the use or reliance of any information contained in these Guidelines. Any direct or consequential loss or damage suffered because of reliance on this publication is the user’s sole responsibility. Persons using information contained in these Guidelines should conduct enquiries and rely on independent professional advice. This exclusion extends to all users and related parties who may suffer loss because of the use of information contained in these Guidelines and applies despite any negligence on the part of the State of Queensland.


Last updated
28 December 2022