Marine pollution

The Transport Operations (Marine Pollution) Act 1995 and Transport Operations (Marine Pollution) Regulation 2018 protect Queensland's marine and coastal environment by minimising deliberate and negligent discharges of ship-sourced pollutants into coastal waters. Marine pollutants include:

  • oil (including diesel fuel, petrol and oil products) and oily residues or mixtures
  • chemicals and chemical residues
  • sewage
  • garbage (food wastes, paper products, rags, glass, metal, bottles, crockery, fishing gear, nets, bait boxes, lining, packing material, deck sweepings, paints, wood products, wire residues and all plastics).

It is an offence to discharge pollutants (either deliberately or negligently) and severe penalties apply. Ships operating in Queensland's coastal waters must carry the applicable pollution prevention documentation.

Maritime Safety Queensland works in conjunction with the Department of Environment and Science and local government authorities to protect the marine environment and prosecute offenders. Everyone can help protect our waters by reporting marine pollution incidents to a local Maritime Safety Queensland office.

Information in this section:

  • Queensland Coastal Contingency Action Plan (QCCAP)

    The Queensland Coastal Contingency Action Plan (QCCAP) outlines the arrangements for mitigating the effects of ship-sourced pollution on Queensland’s marine and coastal environment.

  • Garbage pollution

    Information about preventing pollution by garbage of our waterways.

  • Marine pollution brochure

    This brochure outlines the marine pollution responsibilities of boat owners and operators and provides tips on preventing oil and chemical pollution, garbage pollution and sewage management.

  • Oil and chemical pollution

    Information about preventing oil/chemical pollution of the waterways.

  • Oil spill risk assessment

    Oil spill risk assessment for the coastal waters of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef marine park. This report is the culmination of a 12 month study conducted by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (then Queensland Transport) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

  • Pollution prevention documents required by ships

    Outlines the applicable pollution prevention documentation that ships operating in Queensland waters must carry under law.


    Everyone can help protect the marine environment by reporting pollution incidents to their local Maritime Safety Queensland regional office or port authority.

  • Sewage

    Ship-sourced sewage management legislation and information.

  • Ship insurance

    New legislation was introduced on 18 May 2007 to enhance Maritime Safety Queensland’s principle of the 'polluter pays'.

Last updated
19 June 2023
Last updated
19 June 2023