SEMP Maritime Emergencies (non-search and rescue) Sub-Plan


Complex maritime emergencies (non-search and rescue) are a significant threat to the state’s marine environment. The impacts of a Class 1 or 2 emergency would have catastrophic consequences to life (including aquatic life), maritime and state operations, infrastructure, the economy and the environment. 

The emergency management arrangements outlined in this plan are crucial to ensure that government, industry and community confidence is maintained. Understanding the state’s capability is essential for preparedness, planning, response and recovery to a maritime emergency. 
No single agency has the capacity or resources (including skilled staff) to respond to and manage a complex maritime emergency; this will require resource allocation from multiple jurisdictions.

This sub-plan exists to ensure that collaboration, co-operation and resources sharing is captured and agreed to by the stakeholders and a response to a complex maritime emergency will be a shared responsibility between the agencies.

The Maritime Emergencies (Non Search and Rescue (NSR)) Subplan of the State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) is developed in accordance with the Emergency Management Act 2013 (External link), it also serves the purposes of being the Victorian Marine Pollution Contingency Plan in accordance with the Marine (Drug, Alcohol and Pollution Control) Act 1988 (the Act) (External link)

The sub-plan is two parts:

  • Part A is the Maritime Emergencies (NSR) Sub-plan: 
    • It provides an overview of the arrangements for managing maritime emergencies in Victoria. 
    • It describes the integrated approach and shared responsibility between state and commonwealth governments, agencies, businesses and communities.
    • The sub-plan refers to national agreements, plans and documents, including the National Plan.
  • Part B is the Maritime Emergencies (NSR) Operational Plan and contains the operational details for preparing and planning for, responding to, and recovering from maritime emergencies.

The sub-plan applies to maritime emergencies (NSR) including marine pollution which results or may result in a prohibited discharge of oil, oily mixtures, undesirable or hazardous and noxious substances into state waters.

This edition of the Victorian Marine Pollution Contingency Plan is developed, coordinated and administered by the Secretary, Department of Transport (DoT) in accordance with Section 71A of the Act (External link)

This edition has been prepared by DoT, in collaboration with control agencies and organisations which have Maritime Emergency (NSR) responsibilities. 


The purpose of this sub-plan is to:

  • Provide the Victorian Marine Pollution Contingency Plan in accordance with section 71B of the Marine (Drug, Alcohol and Pollution Control) Act 1988 (External link) to ensure there is adequate planning and preparation for marine pollution incidents (including by providing equipment and training personnel).
  • Give effect to Victoria’s obligations under the National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies and Intergovernmental Agreements.
  • Provide the State Emergency Management Plan Maritime Emergencies (NSR) Subplan in accordance with the Emergency Management Act 2013.
  • Provide strategic guidance for the effective management of maritime emergencies specifically addressing marine pollution (including oil and hazardous noxious substances) and/or maritime casualty NSR. 


The scope of this sub-plan is maritime emergencies that are:

  • marine pollution by oil, oily mixtures, and undesirable substances
  • marine pollution by hazardous and noxious substances (HNS)
  • maritime casualties (i.e. vessels – non search and rescue)
  • wildlife affected by marine pollution
  • Geographically, this sub-plan applies to maritime emergencies (NSR) in Victoria’s embayment’s (enclosed waters) and state coastal waters up to 3 nautical miles.

This sub-plan does not cover the following hazards [Indicates responsible agency]:

  • Pollution in commonwealth waters from petroleum titleholders or offshore petroleum facilities [National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA)].
  • Cetacean entanglements or strandings and vessel strikes [Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)].
  • Blue Green Algal Blooms [DELWP].
  • Maritime search and rescue and evacuation [Victoria Police (VICPOL)].
  • Ship-board fires [Country Fire Authority (CFA) or Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV)].
  • Public health, mass human casualty [Department of Health (DH)].

The direct management of these hazards is not within scope of this sub-plan, however the control and coordination principles may be applied, where the hazard is concurrent with other hazards that are under the scope of this sub-plan.


The objective of the sub-plan is to:

  • ensure an integrated and coordinated approach to Victoria’s management of maritime emergencies (NSR); and 
  • reduce the impact and consequences of maritime emergencies (NSR) on communities, infrastructure and services, and the environment.
Date of Publication


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