Background and Purpose of Plan

This document constitutes a Safety and Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) as required by Part 6A of the Port Management Act 1995 (PMA). The purpose of the SEMP is to provide a comprehensive, risk based approach to safety and environment management by port managers. This SEMP is intended to complement existing documentation by bringing a “whole of port” perspective to the management of safety and environment within the port.

This SEMP has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the PMA and the Ministerial Guidelines: Port Safety and Environment Management Plans (November 2012, referred to herein as the ‘Ministerial Guidelines’) and considers the range of activities carried out by GeelongPort with a view to enabling the hazards and risks to be identified and controlled by the responsible parties. The SEMP will assist GeelongPort to respond to the significant hazards and risks in a coordinated, effective and practical way.

Certification & auditing of the SEMP has been streamlined into a single process and audited every three years by an approved Victorian Government auditor. The last audit report is dated March 2022 and the next audit is due by June 2025. The auditor is required to forward copy of report to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources within 21 days of the audit.

SEMP Objectives (Whole of Port)

The PMA (Section 91CA) sets out the objectives of safety and environmental management planning that the SEMP should address, which are;

  • promoting improvements in safety and environmental outcomes at Victoria’s ports
  • promoting and facilitating the development, maintenance and implementation of systems that enable compliance with the various safety and environmental duties that apply to the operation of the port
  • promoting an integrated and systematic approach to risk management in relation to the operation of the port.

Port Management Structure

In the Port of Geelong, there are two private-sector companies that own and manage the land assets of the port. These are GeelongPort and GrainCorp. There is also a statutory corporation, the Victorian Regional Channel Authority (VRCA), which is the port manager for the port waters of Geelong.

Parks Victoria manages the waters outside the Victorian Regional Channels Authority’s defined “port waters” and has prepared a SEMP to cover this area. Accordingly, Parks Victoria’s activities are not covered by this SEMP.

Brief Description of Port

The Port of Geelong is the largest regional port in Victoria. It handles 25 percent of Victoria’s export including petroleum products, bulk grain and woodchips. Imported materials include crude oil, petroleum products, hazardous materials and fertiliser raw material. The port facilities include:

  • Refinery Pier
  • Lascelles Wharf
  • Corio Quay Wharves
  • GrainCorp piers
  • Point Henry Pier

Operations and activities at Cunningham Pier, which is privately owned and operated, are not included in this SEMP.

Major tenants, Licensees, Service Providers and Customers

A list of tenants, licensees, service providers and customers that interact with GeelongPort, can be found here

Safety and environment obligations

All port managers have general duties, supported by specific legislative requirements, to prevent or reduce hazards or risks to safety and the environment so far as is reasonably practicable. GeelongPort has current accreditation to ISO 45001, ISO 9001 & ISO 14001. A Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Management Systems Manual has been developed by GeelongPort so that all activities that may have an impact on safety, occupational health, the environment or quality, are carried out in a manner that complies with legislative requirements. GeelongPort maintains a legal register as part of the SHEQ Management Systems Manual; this manual also provides an overview of its legislative requirements with regards to safety and environmental management.

GeelongPort encourages all businesses operating in the port area to maintain safety and environmental management systems and incorporates this requirement into lease arrangements with tenants, licensees and customers.

Ship safety in port waters during approach and at berth is the responsibility of the Harbour Master through statutory responsibilities to Transport Safety Victoria. A full description of the Harbour Masters responsibilities and functions are contained in Part 6.4 of the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic). The Harbour Master is also responsible for the Port Waters of Geelong Operating Handbook, including Harbour Master’s Directions.

GeelongPort manages the Port of Geelong Emergency Management Plan and with VRCA, are signatories to this plan. There is also a Maritime Security Plan for the Port of Geelong, which was prepared by GeelongPort.

GeelongPort maintains a risk assessment register that identifies significant risks in accordance with ISO 45001 and ISO 14001. Where applicable, the SHEQ Management Systems Manual references the applicable legislative and other requirements.

GeelongPort Key Performance Indicators

GeelongPort has developed Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) based on safety and environmental objectives to identify opportunities for improvement. Performance objectives and targets are set annually that can be measured and monitored on a monthly basis to ensure the business works toward improving safety and environmental outcomes.

The objectives and targets key performance indicators are captured recorded and updated monthly in a report and analysed and discussed by the leadership and HSEQ team at the monthly HSEQ Performance Review Meeting.

Summary of process for consultation with people affected by the plan

The aim of this consultation strategy is to provide a cohesive strategy for the SEMP consultation process for the Port of Geelong. Specific objectives of the consultative process are to:

  • Identify relevant stakeholders and interest groups who have, or may have, a legitimate interest in the safety and environmental performance of the port
  • Inform, consult, involve and collaborate with stakeholders as relevant
  • Engage with the SEMP Consultative Committee for the SEMP
  • Facilitate adequate consultation with stakeholders for any new projects or major changes to existing practices that have safety and environment implications
  • Monitor, evaluate and update the consultation strategy so it remains relevant and of value to the implementation of the SEMP.