Gippsland Ports’ management responsibilities include navigation, port operations, regulation, security and compliance, boating safety, incident management, emergency response, maritime security, oil spill response and salvage, dredging and sand management.
In managing the ports and waterways, Gippsland Ports works closely with Transport Safety Victoria, Victorian Water Police, Coast Guards and authorities and organisations such as the Shires of East Gippsland, Wellington, South Gippsland and Bass Coast, State Government via the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Local Infrastructure and the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, Environment Protection Authority, Parks Victoria, and the Gippsland Coastal Board. Gippsland Ports also liaises closely with the Commonwealth Department of the Environment.
Regulation and Compliance
Gippsland Ports employs Marine Officers who are Authorised under the Port Management Act 1995 and the Marine Safety Act 2010, to ensure the safe and efficient operation of waters under Gippsland Ports’ management. Authorised officers conduct regular waterway patrols with particular emphasis on compliance with Set Aside determinations and adherence to waterway rules.
Set Aside Areas
Gippsland Ports has authority under the Port Management (Local Ports) Regulations 2015 to set aside areas within Port waters –
1. In which a specified activity is permitted: or
2. In which a specified activity is prohibited or restricted; or
3. To which access is prohibited or restricted
These include areas within which berthing and mooring is permitted, swing mooring areas, areas within which works may be conducted and areas where itinerant berthing is allowed under certain conditions.
Signage can be found in all of these areas outlining the conditions of use and a simple colour coded system is used to identify areas where specific conditions of use exist (see link below). Gippsland Ports provides comprehensive details of set aside areas on the Waterways Online to enable users to familiarise themselves with these areas prior to venturing onto the water.
The Australian Government has implemented a maritime security regime to help safeguard Australia’s maritime transport system and offshore facilities from terrorism and unlawful interference. Under this regime all security regulated ports, port facilities, offshore facilities, port and offshore service providers and ships (collectively, maritime industry participants) undertake security risk assessments and implement security plans to address identified risks. This includes, but is not limited to:
- measures that need to be in place at different security levels
- the powers and responsibilities of officials
- reporting incidents and events
- screening and clearing, weapons and prohibited items
- the Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC) Scheme, and
- enforcement of the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 and Regulations
Gippsland Ports has one Secure Marine Facility at Port Welshpool, whilst there are two separate private facilities as Barry Beach.
Harbour Master Directions
The Harbour Master’s Directions and Port Handbook is currently being re-developed. The handbook will contain specific information relating to the ports, navigation and services of Gippsland Ports. The Handbook also details the Harbour Master duties and functions with respect to marine safety, which are implemented by way of Harbour Master Directions.
Marine advice and guidance is provided for shipmasters, ships’ agents, vessel owners and operators to facilitate safe and efficient navigation and operation within the port waters of Gippsland Ports.
Select Harbour Master Directions below
Harbour Master Directions for Port of Corner Inlet and Port Albert
Harbour Master Directions for Gippsland Lakes – currently being revised
Select Port Information Handbook below
Port Information Handbook Corner Inlet & Port Albert
Port Information Handbook Gippsland Lakes – currently being revised
Safety & Environmental Management Plans
In accordance with the Port Management Act 2015, Gippsland Ports is required to prepare and implement a Safety and Environmental Management Plans (SEMP) for local ports under its jurisdiction. Safety and Environmental Management Plans are approved by the Minister for Ports and are reviewed every three years.
Safety and Environmental Management Plans aim to:
- Promote improvements in safety and environmental outcomes in Victoria’s portsPromote and facilitate the development, maintenance and implementation of systems that enable compliance with the various safety and environmental duties that apply to the operation of the port.
The SEMPs describe the systems, processes and priorities for the management of safety and environmental risks across Gippsland Ports’ operations.
Local Knowledge Requirements
Maritime Safety Victoria stipulates that a Local Knowledge Certificate is required by certain mariners with commercial Certificates of Competency where the risks due to local conditions are sufficient to justify additional permission requirements. Local Knowledge Certificates are required within the Port of Gippsland Lakes and the Port of Corner Inlet and Port Albert.
Guidance material about Local Knowledge Certificates, and application and renewal forms, are available to download at Maritime Safety Victoria’s Website
Gippsland Ports can provide assistance in obtaining the relevant Local Knowledge Certificate. Click here to see how
Under the Port Management (Local Ports) Regulations 2015 Gippsland Ports has authority to issue a Permit that authorises a person –
a) To berth, moor or anchor a vessel in a local port.
b) To manage cargo in a local port.
c) To engage in an activity, or access an area in a local port which would otherwise contravene the regulations or a set aside determination.
In addition to this authority, Gippsland Ports may apply on behalf of an applicant to the Safety Director for exemptions to Waterway Rules and the establishment of Exclusion Zones.
If you would like to apply for a permit to conduct an event, activity or works within Gippsland Ports‘ waterways please Click Here