Our achievements

A summary of achievements from previous financial years.

Achievements 2020-2021

2020–21 was a big year for Transport Safety Victoria. Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Maritime Safety Victoria

Maritime Safety Victoria has been working with recreational boaters and commercial operators.

  • We implemented a revised system for certifying specialist local knowledge of certain Victorian waters
  • We led the revision of the national standard for boat builders to calculate the safety information displayed on new boats
  • Our on-water compliance teams performed 1,121 vessel interceptions
  • We showed over 600 recreational boaters across Victoria how to check and maintain inflatable lifejackets
  • We helped develop COVIDSafe protocols for marine pilots boarding big ships coming into Victoria
  • Our Boating Vic website and app won the 2020 Internet of Things Award in the Transport category
  • We facilitated upgrades to 16 navigational lights along the Victorian coast

Bus Safety Victoria

Bus Safety Victoria adapted to COVID-19 challenges.

  • We developed and delivered sample COVIDSafe Plans to more than 3000 bus operators
  • We increased our focus on fatigue management as part of bus safety audits
  • We audited over 200 high-risk bus operators while in lockdown
  • We delivered a risk-based COVID-19 safety audit program including checks on airport-to-quarantine shuttle buses
  • We progressed five criminal prosecutions against unaccredited bus operators
  • We launched online payment options for bus accreditation

Achievements 2019-2020

Maritime Safety Victoria

Read more in MSV's news item Looking back on 2019-2020.

Achievements 2018-2019

  • Bus Safety Victoria partnered with Victoria Police Heavy Vehicle Unit in joint operations enforcing bus safety at major tourist events and destinations in regional Victoria, including the Rutherglen Winery Walkabout, major country race days, alpine regions, Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island.
  • Maritime Safety Victoria has led a review of the Australian Builders Plate Standard, driving a significant shift in boat design to enhance safety and provide boaters with improved safe boating guidance.
  • Maritime Safety Victoria launched the ‘Prepare to survive: know the five’ boating safety campaign, calling to action five key behavioural messages designed to prevent fatalities:
    • Know the weather
    • Practise getting back on
    • Carry a distress beacon
    • Lock in a buddy plan
    • Wear a lifejacket.
  • TSV has continued to support its Rail Branch in their transition to the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, creating an opportunity for Victoria’s voice to be heard at a national level.

From 2 December 2019, the regulation of Victorian trams and tourist and heritage rail operators became the responsibility of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR).

Achievements 2016-2018


Below we outline our key regulatory achievements for the 2016/17 - 2017/18 financial years, aligned with the four types of enforcement tools, in order of least to greatest intervention.

Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) has a graduated approach to its regulatory role and the application of enforcement tools.

TSV places a strong focus on collaboration to provide relevant information to encourage prevention and mitigation of risk. We apply more interventionist tools such as prosecutions and revoking permissions when appropriate.

As outlined in our Regulatory Approach Policy, the Enforcement Pyramid describes four types of regulatory tools:

  • Information – including guidance and education.
  • Prohibition and improvements – including infringements, notices, undertakings, directions, imposition of conditions and restrictions.
  • Prosecution and disciplinary inquiries
  • Revocation and suspension of ‘permissioning’.

Please note: Achievements related to rail safety are limited to 12 local operators

Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) is currently operating under a Service Level Agreement with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), under which Rail Safety Victoria supports national rail regulatory operations. The achievements below are limited to the 12 local operators. These include 11 tourist and heritage rail and tram operators, and Keolis Downer (KDR) the operator of Yarra Trams.

Information highlights

TSV’s high priority on the preventative influence of awareness and behaviour change, drives the need to deliver information, guidance and information to assist duty holders in fulfilling their safety obligations.

Bus Safety Victoria achieved:

  • Education packages: Material provided to all 2400 registered bus operators to improve awareness, understanding and compliance with legislated safety duty requirements (June 2017).
  • New registered bus operators – Guidance material: Information provided to support the safety of their bus services.
  • Assessing and improving organisational safety culture - Guidance material (September 2016).
  • ‘Omnibus’ newsletter: A bi-monthly update of regulatory guidance, enforcement and events.

Rail Safety Victoria achieved:

  • Dedicated Rail Safety incident report number: A change process was instigated to ensure a more streamlined access point for Transport Safety Operators (May 2018).
  • Rail Safety Forum initiative: Rail Safety Victoria engaged experts in the rail industry to present on current and emerging issues and trends to both local and national rail operators (June 2018).
  • Use of standards – Guidance material: A publication designed to assist duty holders to use the appropriate standards (mandatory or non-mandatory) to manage the safety of railway operations and premises (June 2018).
  • Rail Safety News: A bi-annual e-newsletter update on important regulatory, technical and information for tourist and heritage rail and tram operations.

Maritime Safety Victoria achieved:

  • Recreational boating safety awareness and behaviour change campaign: The boating safety campaign, “Wear a lifejacket, Carry an emergency beacon”, targeted boaters and paddlers over 55 yo, using billboards, radio and digital advertising, and reached audiences of over 675,000 each year with above average (state government) engagement rates(2016/17 and 2017/18 boating seasons).
  • Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook (new issue): An improved and updated publication which is the reference for marine licence and personal watercraft endorsements (June 2018).
  • Extensive recreational boating safety face-to-face education: through the Boating Safety Education Officer Program at boat ramps, fishing clubs, shows and events, with an annual average reach of 9,000 boaters per year.
  • Installation of state significant navigation aids at high risk waterways: The 2017/18 program of work to the value of over $70k included 7 major and 52 minor boating safety signs, 28 water safety signs, 120 Marine Radio Victoria Signs, installation of buoys and manufacturing of two navigational lights of ‘state significance’.
  • A prototype for the Boating Information Integration Project: A digital platform designed to improve communication between recreational boaters and relevant agencies to inform safety-related decision making and improve safety culture for sharing the waterways for different uses – boaters, paddlers, jet skiers and swimmers (2016)
  • Guidance to assist a safe trial of new ferry: Support and information to ensure safety with speed trials for the introduction of a new commercial passenger ferry on the Yarra River, part of the Bellarine Peninsula to Melbourne route.
  • Transition to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority - Certification of Domestic Commercial Vessels: Finalised over 2200 competency, operations and survey certificates for an effective and efficient transition to AMSA:
    • Certificates of Competency: 337 (2016-17), and 465 (2017-18)
    • Certificates of Operations: 194 (2016 -17), to 399 (2017-18)
    • Survey Certificates: 166 (2016-17), and 768 (2017-18)

Prohibition and improvements highlights

Bus Safety Victoria achieved:

  • Safety audits of bus operators: 560 safety audits were completed each year.
  • A remedial program for Transdev: To address safety issues related to multiple vehicles and the contractor’s safety management systems, including follow-up audits to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Increased enforcement pressure on select tour and charter operators: Based on growing intelligence on their safety performance, in-field compliance activities included a focus on Phillip Island, alpine areas, Melbourne Airport, Western and North-Western regional Victoria, regional race meetings and the Yarra Valley.
  • A series of unannounced intelligence led depot inspections, which resulted in significant high-profile enforcement activities: Six inspections with subsequent safety audits were undertaken to assess operators’ systems.

Maritime Safety Victoria achieved:

  • The training of 90 officers within the Victorian Fisheries Authority to expand our Transport Safety Officer capacity to enforce marine safety law.
  • Safety inspections of 2700 recreational vessels across Victorian waterways, in cooperation with our regulatory partners: an increase of 495% (2016/17 to 2017/18, as of April 18)
  • An increase in the number of fines issued to people operating their vessels in an unsafe manner, or for the operation of unsafe vessels to 190 fines (2016/17 to 2017/18, as of April 18).
  • The resourcing of 20 additional Water Police patrols to target unsafe jet ski riders: Resulting in more than 100 additional fines (as of March 2018).
  • Increased use of the 'owner onus' provisions to fine owners of vessels for safety breaches by others using their vessels without appropriate licence endorsement. This resulted in the issuing of 35 infringement notices in 2017/18.
  • Improvement notice to lifejacket supplier Jarvis Walker: The notice, served after a lifejacket batch failed testing, which resulted in an ACCC product safety recall of over 45,000 life jackets across Australia and New Zealand.
  • Is working collaboratively with duty holders such as the ports and pilotage service providers to improve safety in the ports in a changing environment.
  • Undertook targeted compliance audits of port management bodies and applied regulatory tools to facilitate safety improvements to the monitoring of vessel movements within port waters.

Rail Safety Victoria achieved:

  • A cooperative relationship with Keolis Downer (KDR), operator of Yarra Trams: to continually improve the development and implementation of KDR’s safety management system, as required by local rail legislation.
  • Increased activities across the state by Transport Safety Officers: These include audits and inspections which increased by 38% from 2016 to 2017, with further increases of over 30% in 2018.

Prosecution and disciplinary inquiries

Bus Safety Victoria achieved:

Maritime Safety Victoria achieved:

  • An inquiry report into the capsize and loss of kayaks off Anglesea (published August 2016). The report into the May 2016 incident was lauded by the Outdoor Education sector and Outdoors Victoria, and led to the Department of Education and Training's review of their Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors. It has also informed the ongoing review of Outdoor Education Activity standards used by the Private (non-state school and other outdoor education) sector and a new safety duty for boating activity events which took effect from 30 June 2018.
  • The instigation of a number of investigations into incidents and occurrences associated with jet ski safety breaches and port safety risks including the pilotage of vessels through port waters (underway).

Rail Safety Victoria achieved:

  • Over 16 detailed inspections of tram rolling stock and operations in 2017, an increase of nine from the seven in 2016.
  • Charges laid over track death: In January 2017, TSV charged rail operator Metro Trains Melbourne Pty Ltd (MTM) with breaching its rail safety obligations in relation to a fatal accident that occurred at Heyington station in 2014.

Revocation/suspension of permissioning

Where appropriate TSV is using its powers to revoke or suspend permission to operate when clear evidence of failure to comply, or intent to subvert responsibilities for safety duties have been evidenced.

  • Dee Decker loses accreditation: Bus Safety Victoria suspended the accreditation of party bus company Dee Decker Tours following a raid by BSV, Victoria Police and VicRoads (March 2018).

TSV improvement highlights

TSV has delivered significant advances in the organisation’s capacity and capability to deliver regulatory outcomes, across our transport modes of bus, maritime and rail.

The outcomes of these advances include tangible improvements in: productivity, partnerships, collaboration, capabilities, governance and service delivery, as outlined below.

Transport Information Management System

TSV has built the foundations of a sophisticated Salesforce-based system which provides powerful new intelligence capabilities to identify risks and inform regulatory activities.

Research capability

TSV has established a Research, Strategy and Risk Group to deliver a research program which will help each transport mode to better identify risks and inform regulatory focus.

Research outcome highlights:

  1. Hospitalisation Data Research Project, Transport Safety Victoria (June 2017).
  2. Paddling Research – Behavioural and fatality study, Maritime Safety Victoria (December 2016).
  3. Boating Behaviour Study Part 2, Maritime Safety Victoria (August 2017).
  4. PWC User – Behaviours and Attitudes – Persona development, Maritime Safety Victoria (January 2018).

Extending engagement

TSV is extending its engagement efforts with various agencies in the transport sector, to better coordinate activities, leverage opportunities and influence safety culture and policy.

Engagement outcome highlights:

  • TSV has fostered new strategic and operational forums with WorkSafe and Energy Safe Victoria - key state regulators with shared responsibilities. The forums are regularly held to identify and explore opportunities for knowledge sharing, reducing regulatory burden, collaboration and cross-jurisdictional activity and policy, legislative and operational reform.
  • Maritime emergency arrangements – MSV contributed to the development of the State Maritime Emergencies (non-search and rescue) Plan. MSV has subsequently been involved in high level operations exercises with emergency management agencies to improve the integration, cooperation and communication during maritime emergencies (June 2018).
  • Bus Safety Victoria (BSV) now delivers a cooperative compliance program each year involving multi-jurisdictional teams: In conjunction with BSV, Victoria Police and VicRoads audit vehicles, drivers and operations across the state for compliance with relevant safety legislation.

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