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Effectively promoting and enforcing compliance with marine safety laws is vital to assuring marine safety. As Victoria's transport safety regulator, Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) must ensure that waterway managers meet their legislative obligations in helping to maintain public confidence in the marine safety system.

In 2014, the Recreational Maritime Safety audit found that the state's regulatory framework was not effectively or efficiently implemented. Shortcomings included the absence of arrangements within TSV for assuring the effectiveness of its regulatory approach as well as the competence and ongoing suitability of waterway managers. The audit made 14 recommendations to improve recreational maritime safety. This report examined TSV’s response to these audit recommendations.

TSV has no explicit function under the Maritime Safety Act 2010 to oversee waterway managers. It is reliant on the cooperation and capability of waterway managers in taking action on identified deficiencies. This limits the action TSV is able to take.

In January 2016 the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources commenced a review of the governance of waterways in Victoria. This creates an opportunity to critically examine the legislative framework and address fundamental deficiencies in the regulatory scheme identified in our 2014 audit and remain unresolved.

Despite the department's and TSV's commitment to actioning audit recommendations, progress has been slow. Both agencies need to continue to drive and closely monitor actions taken and planned, to ensure their intended impact on improving recreational maritime safety in Victoria is achieved.

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