Ports legislation

Transport for NSW drives strategies to improve efficiency at the ports of NSW, as well as ensuring there are appropriate mechanisms in place to maintain high standards of marine safety and environmental protection in the trading ports and coastal waters of NSW.

Transport for NSW also exercises a number of powers and functions under marine legislation, including as delegate of the Minister.

Ports and Maritime Administration 

Ports and Maritime Administration Act 1995 

The Ports and Maritime Administration Act 1995 sets the framework for ports and maritime management across NSW. It provides for the role of the Port Authority of New South Wales and private port operators, marine safety and safety directions, TfNSW’s functions, port charges, the port price monitoring scheme, regulatory powers to promote competition and productivity at ports, and the management of wharves, moorings, port facilities and related works. 

Port Safety Operating Licence

The Port Safety Operating Licence (PSOL) is issued by the Minister to the Port Authority of New South Wales under the Ports and Maritime Administration Act 1995, and covers port safety functions that must be undertaken in the designated ports of Eden, Port Kembla, Port Botany, Sydney Harbour, Newcastle and Yamba.

Transport for NSW implements the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS) under the Ports and Maritime Administration Regulation 2021. PBLIS regulates the performance of stevedores and carriers at the Port Botany container terminals. We also work with industry to optimise how cargo moves through Port Botany and regional NSW across supply chain interfaces and networks.

Maritime Safety 

Marine Safety Act 1998

The Marine Safety Act 1998 provides for the safe operation of vessels in ports and waterways, promotes the responsible operation of vessels in those waters so as to protect the safety and amenity of other water users as well as the amenity of occupiers of adjoining land, and provides an effective framework for the enforcement of marine legislation and the investigation of marine accidents.  

Marine pilotage

Transport for NSW has powers under the Marine Safety Act 1998, as a delegate of the Minister, to appoint individuals to act as Harbour Master for non-designated NSW ports such as Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Jervis Bay, Batemans Bay and Lord Howe Island.

We also develop, maintain and publish the Marine Pilotage Code under the Marine Safety Regulation 2016. The code outlines training and health requirements for marine pilots who are specially trained to guide large vessels safely in and out of ports.

Marine pollution

Marine Pollution Act 2012

The Marine Pollution Act 2012 sets pollution prevention requirements for all vessels in State waters to protect the NSW marine environment from pollution from vessels. The objective of the Marine Pollution Act 2012 is to give effect to Australia’s ratification of Annexes I to V (covering oil, packaged harmful substances, noxious liquids, garbage and sewage) of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (known as MARPOL), and enhance the protection of NSW waters from pollution from vessels.