Our plan

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.

Cameron Toy
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.

Our role

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:

  • permissioning
  • education
  • 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:

  • Responsiveness
  • Integrity
  • Impartiality
  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Leadership
  • 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.

Legislative responsibilities

Marine safety legislation

TSV administers the Marine Safety Act 2010, Marine Safety Regulations 2012 and Marine Safety (Fees) Regulations 2021 by:

  • 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.

Policy advice

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.

Regulatory functions

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 /StakeholderInterest in TSV’s work
Department of Transport Portfolio department, including Freight Victoria
CourtsCourts that hear and decide our litigation under transport safety legislation such as prosecutions
Commercial Passenger Vehicles VictoriaRegulator of on-road vehicles
Individual bus operatorsRegulated stakeholders
Victorian Fisheries AuthorityRegulator of on-water vessels and maritime activities
Ports VictoriaRegulator of maritime activities in Victorian Ports
Victoria PoliceRegulator of on-road and on-water activities
VicRoadsProvides registration and licensing services
Recreational boaters and associationsRegulated stakeholders
Ports and shipping industry participantsRegulated 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.

Port Reform

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.

Strategic framework


Department portfolio vision

TSV vision

An integrated and sustainable transport system that contributes to an inclusive, prosperous, and environmentally responsible State

Shaping safer journeys


Department portfolio purpose

TSV purpose

Simple, safe, connected journeys

Shape safer journeys by being an effective and efficient regulator

Focus areas

Department portfolio focus areas

TSV strategic focus areas

  1. Safe journeys for all
  2. New travel patterns and places
  3. Advance technology and assets
  4. Service and network reforms
  5. Environmental sustainability
  6. Innovation through engagement
  7. Empower our people

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

TSV outcomes

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
Strategic priorities
  • Re-focus regulatory programs, with an emphasis on compliance, education and engaging with our stakeholders, to identify and respond to emerging risks during the transition to COVID-19 normal
  • Inform and implement legislative and regulatory changes
Key initiatives
  • Implementation of Bus Safety Act amendments
  • Provide expert input into legislative and regulatory changes including the proposed Victorian port and waterway reforms and the remake of the Marine Safety Regulations
  • Marine safety initiatives funded by the Better Boating Fund
  • Continued involvement COVID-19 response activities


Continued involvement COVID-19 response activities including:

  • Department facilitated COVID-19 Response and Coordination - Transport Portfolio meetings
  • Providing maritime safety advice at COVID-19 Response Coordination Response Directorate (CRCRD) meetings
  • Undertaking an audit program of COVIDSafe Plans for bus operators, prioritising those known to be operating during 2020/21. As high priority audits are concluded, audits of COVIDSafe Plans will continue to be a feature of the regular audit program undertaken by the Bus Safety branch
  • Secondments of TSV staff to support Victorian Government COVID-19 response programs
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.

  • Permissioning: Licensing, registering and accrediting operators and other industry participants
  • Education: Promoting awareness of and informing / educating on transport and maritime safety issues
  • Compliance and enforcement: Enforcing and ensuring compliance with transport safety legislation including, monitoring operators’ systems for managing safety risks, investigating possible breaches and taking appropriate action as required
  • Policy advice: Providing advice and recommendations to government on transport safety legislation and frameworks
Measures of success
  • Implementation of the risk-based bus accreditation system
  • Better Boating Fund initiatives completed
  • Legislative change programs completed and positively impact stakeholder safety
  • Positive contributions to Victoria’s COVID-19 response efforts
  • Targeted and timely operator audits and regulatory interventions
  • Deliver programs outlined in State Budget Paper 3
  • Regularly engaging with our stakeholders

Focus area: Empowering our people

DescriptionBe a diverse, adaptable and connected workforce, empowered to deliver effective transport safety regulation
Strategic priorities
  • Support the health and welfare of our staff
  • Actively support new hybrid ways of working
  • Increase inclusion and diversity
  • Proactively develop core regulatory capability improvements in response to changing work practices and operating environment
  • Position information technology as an active business partner, leveraging technology innovation and contemporary practices to rethink the way we deliver information and services that drive better safety outcomes for Victorian stakeholders
Key initiatives
  • Develop and implement, in conjunction with the Department, strategies for workforce planning, staff welfare, diversity and inclusion and hybrid ways of working
  • Activities to ensure our people are trained, supported and authorised to deliver core functions
  • Data insight strategy and intelligence reporting
Measures of success
  • Occupational Health and Safety management
  • Improved People Matter survey outcomes
  • Improved stakeholder relationships
  • Safety insights informing regulatory programs and initiatives
  • Core regulatory capabilities resourced

Risk management

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.

Risk culture

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.

Risk appetite

No or low appetite for risks that …Open or high appetite for risks that…
  • impact duty holders ability to deliver on their legislative responsibilities
  • have a significant impact on safety, health or wellbeing of our workers or contractors
  • adversely impact on TSV’s reputation
  • result in a loss of key resources across TSV that would impact core business delivery
  • invest time or funding in any innovation that is not aligned with TSV’s Corporate and Business Plans or the Department’s strategic plan
  • adversely impacts the security of TSV’s critical and sensitive information
  • impacts legal or compliance requirements of TSV
  • results in loss of relevance for TSV as the transport safety regulator for Victoria
  • pursue change that positively impacts duty holders’ compliance with safety expectations and obligations
  • innovate and engage with partners, regulators, industry and the community in a manner that strengthens relationships
  • invest time to consider cost effective alternatives and maximise efficiencies
  • drive positive industry change and inform policy thinking and legislative change
  • realise opportunities for improved outcomes for stakeholders and promote the increased safety culture both within TSV and external stakeholders
  • result in TSV being an agile and responsive risk-based regulator
  • seize new opportunities and invest in emerging technology to enhance TSV’s IT Security environment
  • invest in training to create a culture where our people are safe, valued and empowered to succeed

Governance and accountability

The Hon. Ben CarrollMinister for Public Transport
Minister for Roads and Road Safety
The Hon. Melissa HorneMinister 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
Cameron Toy

Director of Operations
Laura McDonough

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
Lisa Faldon

Responsible for leading the regulatory responses to transport risks faced in the operation of buses in Victoria.

Director, Maritime Safety
Shaun Rodenburg

Responsible for leading the regulatory responses to transport risks faced
in the operation of recreational vessels
and commercial vessels by maritime users in Victoria.

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.