Shipping is a complex area governed by international and national conventions and legislation, such as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). A number of government agencies are responsible for ensuring that shipping operations comply with legal requirements.
Traditionally regulation and responsibility for international shipping has rested with the Commonwealth Government.
Australia is a signatory to MARPOL and the Commonwealth is responsible for regulating shipping emissions through this convention. MARPOL sets requirements for the sulfur content of fuels used by shipping in Australia at 3.5% to be reduced to 0.5% by 2020 or 2025 (subject to a technical feasibility review).
Department of Planning and Environment (DPE)
DPE is responsible for regulating impacts of the White Bay Cruise Terminal under the Project Approval. The Approval contains conditions relating to noise, air quality and odour. The approval can be accessed on the DPE website.
Port Authority of NSW
The Port Authority of NSW owns and operates the White Bay Cruise Terminal. It is responsible for complying with conditions of the Project Approval and other legislative requirements.
The Port Authority of NSW is working to develop and implement measures to reduce noise impacts from cruise ships on the local community through a Noise Impact Mitigation Strategy.
The Port Authority of NSW is undertaking a technical study into the feasibility of providing shore-to-ship power at the White Bay Cruise Terminal.
Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, the EPA is the appropriate regulatory authority for ships in Sydney Harbour that require pilotage - this generally includes cruise ships. The EPA's role includes regulating air and water pollution. Noise pollution at the White Bay Cruise Terminal is regulated by DPE under the project approval, which contains specific noise criteria for terminal operations.
NSW Health works with other government agencies to provide advice to the community and government in relation to potential health impacts associated with cruise ships. More information on air pollution and health can be found on the NSW Health website.