Marine Pollution Act 2012 Review

The Marine Pollution Act 2012 (the Act) is the State’s key legislative instrument regulating marine pollution discharges from vessels in NSW State waters, to protect the marine environment. The Act sets out offences relating to five key marine pollutants that pose significant risk to the marine environment. These are oil, noxious liquid substances, harmful substances in packaged form, sewage and garbage.

These pollutants are specified in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, otherwise known as MARPOL. MARPOL provides a consistent regulatory framework for international shipping. Commonwealth legislation implements MARPOL in Australia and this Act implements MARPOL in NSW waters.

The Act also includes a number of important State-based requirements such as the prevention of pollution from oil / chemical transfers, insurance requirements, Ministerial powers to respond to pollution incidents and recovery of clean-up costs following a pollution incident.

Transport for NSW released a discussion paper to facilitate stakeholder input to the review. Consultation on the discussion paper closed on 16 October 2019. The review process is known as a statutory review under NSW Government procedures. The review will consider whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and the terms are appropriate for securing those objectives.