Fuel Excise Proposal

To read in full the full proposal document submitted by the National Volunteer Marine Search and Rescue Committee (NVMSARC)

click on the document link below.

This document has now been released by the NVMSARC for general readership.

Read the Full Proposal

Nationally, more than 9,700 marine rescue volunteers give more than 3.2 million hours of their time annually to respond to search and rescue emergencies and other incidents on the water, monitor marine radio communications and provide boating safety eduction. With an equivalent wage value of nearly $94 million per annum, this 'workforce' not only saves lives on the water but also provides invaluable support to search and rescue authorities, including the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Australian Defence Force and State and Territory police and maritime services.

The agencies total operating costs are approximately $32 million per annum, funded through a range of sources, including State and Territory governments, recreational boating levies, grants and a heavy reliance on volunteer fundraising.

The Commonwealth's new Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Regulation 2013 has now introduced prescribed new operating and safety standards for all commercial vessels opering on Australian waters, including, for the first time, marine rescue vessels.

Imposing additional training requirements on volunteer marine rescue organisations places further strain on our ability to recruit and retain volunteers; and prescribed vessel construction specifications will also add significantly to operational costs. A number of services will now need to purchase new vessels and introduce comprehensive new training regimes to meet the new standards.

In order to help offset the cost of the new regulatory regime to individual agencies and to provide the sector with a stable revenue stream above and beyond existing State/Territory-level funding, the NVMSARC propose diverting a modest 0.72% of the Fuel Excise tax attributable to marine vessels (representing 0.11% of total FET revenue) to marine safety. This would provide the peak VMR agencies with annual income of $20 million.