Maritime safety officers 

Maritime safety officers (MSOs) undertake compliance and enforcement activities.

MSOs are trained to monitor compliance and, if necessary, take enforcement action where breaches of relevant transport safety or infrastructure laws are observed.

We do not impose specific targets or quotas on MSO compliance and enforcement activities. Remedial action is only undertaken when deemed necessary.

Photo of a maritime safety officer

External transport safety officers

To enhance our ability to undertake compliance and enforcement activities across Victoria's waterways, enforcement staff of other government agencies are appointed as MSOs, including:

Before being appointed as an external MSO, individuals are required to demonstrate that they are suitably qualified, trained and have a sound understanding of the responsibilities and limitations of the role that they are appointed to undertake.

External MSOs are delegated a limited range of powers dependent on a variety of factors, including the nature of the issues and risks on their waterway and their employing organisation's degree of activity as a waterway manager. This ensures that they only have the powers necessary to undertake compliance functions relevant to the activities being undertaken on the waterways they manage.

In relation to the commercial vessel fleet, the focus of external MSOs activities is on compliance with waterway rules.