The Australian Port Marine Safety Management Guidelines

Ports Australia is pleased to release the updated Port Marine Safety Management Guidelines. The Port Operations and Innovation Working Group subcommittee, APMSMG has been working consistently to revise this document over the past nine months.

The aim of the Australian Port Marine Safety Management Guidelines (the Guidelines) is to promote the implementation of good practice standards in the conduct of safe and efficient marine operations within commercial ports.

Port Operations and Innovation Working Group Chair, Captain John Finch highlights the importance of the Guidelines, in managing: protection of life, human injury, adverse impacts to the port marine and terrestrial environment, protection of property and infrastructure is vitally important.

These Guidelines are there to guide ports on how their policies and procedures can support such safe operations, Mr Finch said.

The Guidelines focus specifically on those port marine activities and operations mainly undertaken within the waters of a port by vessels and have been updated to be more comprehensive and better address several aspects of maritime operations that were not as emphasised in the earlier version.

The purpose of the Guidelines is to:

  • Encourage the development of a systemised approach to identify and manage marine operational risks and to implement adequate controls aligned with the operational risk profile;
  • Encourage the use of a risk-based approach that employs ‘due diligence’ combined with As Low As Reasonably Practicable and So Far As Is Reasonably Practicable to treat identified risks;
  • Provide a framework for the development of an appropriate Port Marine Safety Management System and the ability to measure its effectiveness;
  • Provide a template for the development of policies and procedures relating to port operations; and
  • Encourage implementation of adequate governance arrangements and clear accountabilities for various port operational functions.

Ports Australia Policy and Operations Director, Margie Barbouttis said sustainability is an underlying principle to all of Ports Australia’s work.

The Guidelines address essential components to port sustainability, that being safety and efficiency, and Ports Australia is pleased that the expertise within the membership has come together once again, to develop a significant resource that will aid the sector in the iterative process of sustainability, Ms Barbouttis said.