Meyrick and Associates Pty Ltd
for the Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2003
About the report
Australia is a maritime nation and relies heavily on shipping. Ballast water, because of the marine pests it may carry, poses a risk to the Australian economy and environment. Ballast water may be of international or domestic origin, posing challenges for its effective management given historical separation of responsibilities between the Commonwealth and state governments.
In July 2001, the Commonwealth government introduced mandatory ballast water management requirements for all international voyages. No management of ballast water from domestic sources is currently required. However, the length of domestic voyages within Australia can vary from less than 100 nautical miles to the same order of distance as international movements and pose equivalent risks of introducing marine pests.
The Hastings National Demonstration Project (HNDP) was conceived to trial the operational and management arrangements of an integrated ballast water management model to assess its suitability for Australia wide implementation. The Port of Hastings was chosen due to the variety and the number of traceable shipping movements and the ability to regulate both domestic and internationally sourced ballast water with existing state and Commonwealth legislation. The project commenced on 1 July 2001 and ended on 31 December 2002.
The ballast water requirements used in the trial were supported by dual regulation (through existing Commonwealth and State legislation) and delivered through separate administrative arrangements (separate Commonwealth/State forms, monitoring etc). This report evaluates the model used in the trial and examines its ability for extension to Australia-wide implementation. It should be noted that the Hastings Project did not trial possible alternative options to the model used in the trial, including the option of the use of multiple regulation, with a single administrative interface for industry, delivered through nationally consistent template legislation. It was beyond the scope of this evaluation to examine the constitutional or legislative issues surrounding various options, which will be important in the overall decisions on implementing the proposed National System.
The HNDP is managed by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria. The project partners are a Victorian Government Consortium (comprising EPA, Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Department of Infrastructure), Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) and the CSIRO Centre for Research on Introduced Marine Pests. The Project Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Committee comprises the project partners and the Association of Australian Port and Marine Authorities, Australian Shipowners Association, Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry - Australia, Environment Australia, Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Hastings port manager Toll Western Port.