Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) is the transport safety regulator for Victoria, playing a central role in monitoring the safe operation of bus and recreational and commercial maritime activities for the benefit of all Victorians.
“Shaping safer journeys”
“Be an effective and efficient regulator”
“Drive safer people, infrastructure and systems”
Message from the Director, Transport Safety
In an era in which we have become accustomed to constant change, we must also reflect on the fundamental work we undertake as a transport safety regulator. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all facets of our lives and required government agencies and private sector bodies to reconsider their priorities and evolve and adapt their business accordingly.
TSV is no exception here, and as a result, this year’s Corporate Plan focusses on our core purpose – to assure the safe operation of buses, commercial maritime operations, and recreational vessels in our State.
Our plan is underpinned by the fundamentals of transport safety regulation. We know that our core functions are the best means we have to shape safer journeys - operator licensing, registration and accreditation systems, safety education initiatives, monitoring and auditing of regulated stakeholders, and robust in-field compliance activities. We will continue to deliver these activities, adapting and responding to our operating environment as needed.
The plan also looks to the future, recognising the need to be agile and responsive to the changing nature of the industries we regulate, and to ensure that the effective delivery of our core functions is supported by innovative and contemporary solutions.
The forecast increase in demand for bus and maritime activities — such as bus services, freight demand at Victorian ports, and ownership of recreational vessels — across Victoria will impact our activities. To respond, we must consider the future needs of our stakeholders and adapt how we regulate for safety.
We will do this by continuously improving our internal systems and processes, empowering our people, and driving a culture of positive and proactive engagement with government and industry stakeholders and duty holders to ensure that Victoria’s transport safety systems are integrated, contemporary and effective.
By identifying emerging risks and trends in transport safety, we are committed to developing and delivering targeted regulatory programs that will continue to deliver effective safety outcomes for Victorians.
TSV looks forward to a continued involvement in transport safety sector reform and will continue to collaborate across industry and government. This will include implementation of port reform changes, the new recreational boating strategy, and delivering the changes to the Bus Safety Act 2009 that will modernise how we regulate risk in the bus industry.
We will also continue to review our regulatory approach to support industry compliance with its COVID-19 obligations. With a focus on our core functions and embracing opportunities for change and innovation, we look ahead to a period of significant reform in this dynamic and critical sector.
I thank the TSV team for their continued dedication and hard work during these challenging times, and I congratulate them for their achievements in continuing to deliver on our corporate objectives to improve bus and maritime transport safety for all Victorians.
I look forward to working with our talented and high-performing team on the next stage of our journey.
Director, Transport Safety
Our vision, purpose and role
Our vision focusses on a specific facet of the portfolio vision that TSV can influence and for which TSV has a legislative responsibility: “Shaping safer journeys”
Our purpose is to: “Shape safer journeys by being an effective and efficient regulator”
As an effective and efficient regulator: “TSV has the right people with the right tools doing the right things to drive safer people, infrastructure and systems”
This supports the objective in the Transport Integration Act 2010 (TIA) of seeking the highest bus safety and marine safety standards that are reasonably practicable.
TSV is the transport safety regulator for Victoria, playing a central role in monitoring the safe operation of bus and recreational and commercial maritime activities for the benefit of all Victorians. In order to do this, TSV’s role and responsibilities can be understood in terms of its strategic, regulatory and legislative mandates.
We play a crucial role in providing assurance that duty-holders are meeting legislative obligations, including areas where there are shared legislative responsibilities for safety between regulators and duty holders. This is important in maintaining public confidence in the safety of bus and maritime transport across the state.
TSV’s overall vision is to continuously strive for excellence in regulation to deliver safer journeys for all Victorians. To achieve this, as a risk-based regulator, TSV undertakes the following activities:
- compliance and enforcement
- regulatory capability
- provision of policy advice
The intended outcomes of TSV’s regulatory objectives are:
- to maximise duty holder understanding of, and compliance with the legislation we administer, and
- to promote continuous improvement in safety outcomes.
As a transport safety regulator, TSV’s overall intended outcomes for all Victorians are reduced deaths and serious injuries; increased safety of the bus and commercial maritime systems; and supporting increased safe participation in bus and maritime related activities for all Victorians.
Values in action
We operate according to Victorian Public Sector Values, which are:
- Human Rights.
Alignment with Department’s portfolio vision
TSV is a transport safety agency within the broader Department of Transport (the Department) portfolio.
The Department leads the transport portfolio in Victoria. It is an integrated department supporting and advising three transport sector Ministers. Together with its agencies and transport operators, the Department plans, builds, operates and maintains an integrated, sustainable and safe transport system to meet the needs of people and freight that travel on it, both now and into the future.
The Transport Integration Act 2010 is Victoria’s principal transport legislation, bringing together the transport portfolio under one statute.
As such, our vision aligns with Parliament’s and the Department’s stated vision which “recognises the aspirations of Victorians for an integrated and sustainable transport system that contributes to an inclusive, prosperous and environmentally responsible state”
– Transport Integration Act 2010, Part 2 Division 1 Sec 6.
TSV also aligns with, and contributes to, the transport portfolio purpose of “Simple, safe, connected journeys” – Department of Transport Strategic Plan 2021–25.
Agency operating environment
TSV’s legislative objective and functions
The Transport Integration Act 2010 (TIA) establishes the statutory office of the Director, Transport Safety (Safety Director). The Safety Director is supported by staff employed by the Department who are made available to assist the Safety Director to perform that office’s statutory functions.
TSV’s primary objective is to seek the highest transport safety standards that are reasonably practicable, consistent with the transport system’s vision and objectives under the TIA.
This is achieved by:
- administering bus and maritime legislation
- licensing, registering and accrediting operators and other industry participants
- monitoring the transport industry’s and participants’ systems for managing safety risks
- monitoring compliance with transport safety legislation
- educating and taking enforcement action as appropriate to promote safety outcomes in Victoria.
Marine safety legislation
- educating recreational boaters about how to operate safely
- issuing maritime certificates of local knowledge and harbour master and pilot licences
- registering recreational marine vessels and issuing marine licences
- registering sea pilotage service providers
- accrediting marine licence training providers
- regulating compliance with safety duties
- managing navigational aids, notices to mariners, boating safety signage, appointment and management of waterway managers and authorised officers, risk assessment of major events and compliance auditing of scheduled waterways
- setting standards in relation to navigational aids, dredging and maintenance of channels and general navigational safety
- researching, collecting and analysing maritime safety information
- promoting safety on Victoria’s waterways, including the use of penalties and other enforcement tools to address non-compliance
- collecting fees for commercial maritime qualifications including local knowledge certificates and pilot licences.
Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules
TSV approves general or specific operating and zoning rules for all waters in Victoria. The Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules contain the general and local rules in place for Victorian waterways. The rules are designed to provide a safe operating environment and reflect local conditions.
Bus safety legislation
TSV administers the Bus Safety Act 2009 (BSA) and Bus Safety Regulations 2020 (BSR) which provide for safe bus operations in Victoria. The BSA and BSR promote an improved safety culture across bus operations and apply to all commercial and noncommercial operations.
TSV administers the BSA and BSR by:
- permissioning bus operators
- auditing operators to ensure they are meeting their safety duties so far as is reasonably practicable
- undertaking targeted compliance and enforcement activities
- researching, collecting and analysing bus safety information.
Providing advice and recommendations to government, Ministers and interagency groups on transport safety legislation and proposing amendments to improve safety outcomes.
In addition, TSV also works to enhance its regulatory capability in its strategy, planning, research, IT, people and culture, governance, legal and business support functions working with, and supporting, the Bus and Maritime Safety teams.
To deliver on TSV’s safety, legislative and regulatory responsibilities, TSV undertakes its work within the following core regulatory functions:
- Permissioning: Licensing, registering and accrediting operators and other industry participants
- Education: Promoting awareness of and informing / educating on bus and maritime safety issues
- Compliance and enforcement: enforcing and ensuring compliance with transport safety legislation including, monitoring operators’ systems for managing safety risks, investigating any possible breaches and taking any appropriate action as required
- Regulatory capability: Strategy, planning, research, IT, people and culture, governance, legal and business support functions working with and supporting the regulatory modes.
- Policy advice: Providing advice and recommendations to government on transport safety legislation and proposing amendments to improve safety outcomes.
Read more: Our approach
Partners and stakeholders
TSV has ongoing interactions with the following primary regulatory partners and stakeholders:
|Partner /Stakeholder||Interest in TSV’s work|
|Department of Transport||Portfolio department, including Freight Victoria|
|Courts||Courts that hear and decide our litigation under transport safety legislation such as prosecutions|
|Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria||Regulator of on-road vehicles|
|Individual bus operators||Regulated stakeholders|
|Victorian Fisheries Authority||Regulator of on-water vessels and maritime activities|
|Ports Victoria||Regulator of maritime activities in Victorian Ports|
|Victoria Police||Regulator of on-road and on-water activities|
|VicRoads||Provides registration and licensing services|
|Recreational boaters and associations||Regulated stakeholders|
|Ports and shipping industry participants||Regulated stakeholders|
Challenges and opportunities
This plan uses a risk-based approach to prioritise TSV’s efforts towards the achievement of its objectives. The plan outlines TSV’s key challenges and opportunities along with focus areas and initiatives that direct our work.
Transitioning to COVIDSafe Settings
While COVID-19 pandemic restrictions presented business disruptions and change to our work practices and arrangements, TSV is now looking forward to transitioning to post-lockdown COVIDSafe Settings. The transition is still ongoing and TSV will continue its role in ensuring safe practices are followed within the bus and maritime industries.
However, we also need to adapt our compliance and education focus to meet new challenges in the safety of bus and maritime duty holders, who may now be operating or about to recommence operating under significantly changed circumstances. It is likely for example that new operators will emerge in the bus tour and charter sector which has been largely dormant throughout much of Victoria’s lockdowns. This will increase the need to provide appropriate education and guidance to new operators in that sector as well as monitoring existing operators who will be under increased commercial pressure to ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory responsibilities.
TSV also has an opportunity to capitalise on our new remote working capabilities to find the right productivity balance of enhanced work/life balance and the benefits of traditional face-to-face collaboration with our own staff and stakeholders.
Informing and implementing legislative and regulatory changes
There are several expected or impending changes in our legislative and regulatory operating environment. In line with TSV’s role to seek the highest safety standards reasonably practicable we have an opportunity to use our expert knowledge of safety risks to both inform the policy rationale and implement changes.
For example, recent changes to the Bus Safety Act 2009 present a significant implementation task for the Bus Safety team. These changes allow for more nuanced and proportional regulation of the wide range of bus operator types. As the team undertakes the task of implementing legislative changes, they will also have to manage the safety risks inherent in implementing this major change.
The Maritime Safety team is in discussions with the Department regarding the Government response to the Ports Review (and any potential legislative changes) and is considering the implications of the proposed changes which relate to TSV.
Victorian Recreational Boating Strategy
The Victorian Recreational Boating Strategy (2021-2030) has been developed to identify opportunities to improve the boating experience across Victoria. One such opportunity is to improve waterway and boating safety by investing in safety infrastructure and education. TSV is a key contributor to the delivery of these improvements by undertaking a series of state-wide safety initiatives.
Integration of systems and datasets
TSV possesses invaluable datasets that can inform the safe operation of maritime and bus operation in Victoria. TSV has invested in significant foundational improvements to the quality, integration, and accessibility of these datasets. An opportunity exists to build upon this work to better convert these into safety insights that inform the actions not only of TSV but also our regulatory partners, stakeholders and the community.
Effective engagement with stakeholders
Recognising that the needs of our regulatory partners, stakeholders and community constantly evolve, TSV also needs to monitor and respond appropriately to their needs. By improving our relationships with stakeholders in ways that deepen our understanding of
their needs we will find more opportunities for mutual benefit.
Resourcing our core regulatory functions
TSV’s operating environment constantly changes, presenting many challenges and opportunities. To remain an efficient and effective regulator TSV also needs to constantly evolve and change our own regulatory capabilities. This need to invest in change must be balanced against the resources available to deliver our core regulatory responsibilities and appropriately meet the needs of our stakeholders.
Department portfolio vision
An integrated and sustainable transport system that contributes to an inclusive, prosperous, and environmentally responsible State
Shaping safer journeys
Department portfolio purpose
Simple, safe, connected journeys
Shape safer journeys by being an effective and efficient regulator
Department portfolio focus areas
TSV strategic focus areas
TSV’s strategic focus area aligns with the portfolio focus areas of safe journeys for all and empowering our people.
For TSV this means supporting our people with appropriate resources to ensure that duty holders meet their safety obligations.
TSV objectives and initiatives
TSV has the right people with the right tools doing the right things to drive safer people, infrastructure and systems.
Safe people, Safe infrastructure, Safe systems
TSV regulatory functions
|Permissioning, Education, Compliance and enforcement, Regulatory capability, Policy advice|
Department portfolio outcomes
People and goods can get where they need to go
People are connected to each other and the places they work, study and relax
Reliable and comfortable journeys that get people home safely
Reduced deaths and serious injuries
Increased safety of the bus and commercial maritime systems
Supporting increased safe participation in bus and maritime related activities
Focus areas and initiatives
Focus area: Safe journeys for all
|Description||Operate a transport system that is safe and inspires confidence for all journeys and users|
Continued involvement COVID-19 response activities including:
|Key ongoing programs|
These programs are the core business activities of TSV which are adapted each year to reflect emerging risks and to respond to the changing context within which our work occurs.
|Measures of success|
Focus area: Empowering our people
|Description||Be a diverse, adaptable and connected workforce, empowered to deliver effective transport safety regulation|
|Measures of success|
Agency risk profile
Risk is inherent in the regulation of transport safety in Victoria. TSV manages its risk by following the Victorian Government Risk Management Framework (the Framework) and has developed risk management processes such as risk management plans, and risk culture and appetite initiatives.
TSV monitors and manages safety risk such as ensuring that it has capacity and capability to fulfil its legislative and regulatory responsibilities, reviewing its regulatory focus to ensure industry compliance with changing COVID-19 requirements and working across Government to ensure that shared risks such as cyber risks are managed.
TSV also participates in state emergency management strategies, for example, in its capacity as control agency for maritime casualty events (non search and rescue events) in coastal waters.
TSV is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of its strategic, operational and shared risks to ensure that they are appropriate and contemporary.
At TSV our risk culture sets a positive tone from the top, supports risk awareness across TSV and helps staff actively engage with risk. Risk culture refers to the system of beliefs, values and behaviours throughout an organisation that shape the collective approach to managing risk and making decisions.
A positive risk culture is one where staff at every level appropriately manage risk as an intrinsic part of their day-to-day work. Such a culture supports an open discussion about uncertainties and opportunities, encourages staff to express concerns, and maintains processes to elevate concerns to appropriate levels.
The Framework and risk governance model support the development and improvement of a positive risk culture at TSV.
|No or low appetite for risks that …||Open or high appetite for risks that…|
Governance and accountability
|The Hon. Ben Carroll||Minister for Public Transport|
Minister for Roads and Road Safety
|The Hon. Melissa Horne||Minister for Boating and Fishing|
Minister for Ports and Freight
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation
The Safety Director is appointed by the Governor in Council and is supported by three directors who together form the TSV Executive Board. Each director is delegated a range of powers, duties and functions by the Safety Director to enable efficient decision making.
TSV utilises various frameworks and processes to guide operations and hold staff to account for their actions. These frameworks are aligned with the broader Department and Victorian Government frameworks and processes for ethics and integrity, planning, decision making, risk management, stakeholder engagement, complaints management, compliance and administration.
In addition, a range of activities are undertaken to:
- outline internal structures in place to ensure good governance within TSV (including the decision-making, accountability and relationships within those structures)
- outline external governance frameworks applying to TSV
- detail the systems and processes which support internal and external frameworks
- help prevent duplicated efforts and overlooking critical issues
- assist with the execution of TSV’s functions and processes through consistent guidance
- allow us to focus on the right issues
- provide our Executive Board with a structured approach to collaborate with management on specific issues with clarity and efficiency.
Our structure supports delivery of our purpose, vision and objectives, with the Director, Transport Safety supported by three branches, Operations (Corporate Services) and two modal branches, bus and maritime.
Director, Transport Safety
Director of Operations
Responsible for strategy, planning, research, IT, people and culture, governance, legal and business support functions working with and supporting the regulatory modes.
Director, Bus Safety
Responsible for leading the regulatory responses to transport risks faced in the operation of buses in Victoria.
Director, Maritime Safety
Responsible for leading the regulatory responses to transport risks faced
Financial management and performance reporting
TSV utilises the Department financial management framework and system for finance and budget processes. In addition, TSV reports publicly on its performance through the Department of Transport Annual Report and the seven service delivery performance measures which are published in the State Budget papers.
These measures monitor delivery of a range of services including maritime inspections and audits, bus safety duty holders audits, processing of bus registration and accreditation applications and prosecutions.