The Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Response Centre has been officially recognised as a Commonwealth Emergency Service Facility under the Telecommunications (Intercept and Access) Act 1979.
The formal accreditation recognises the processes and systems AMSA has embedded into the Response Centre – which operates a national search and rescue service for the Australian maritime and aviation sectors – in accordance with legislative requirements.
This important certification, effective from 25 September 2021, also aligns AMSA with other Australian emergency services agencies such as police, fire and ambulance.
AMSA’s Executive Director Response Mark Morrow said AMSA applied in late 2020 to the Department of Home Affairs for formal inclusion as an ‘Emergency Service Facility’ as defined in the Act.
“We had a legal requirement to seek the accreditation due to the recording of voice in and out of the centre. Although compliant since establishment over 20 years ago, this inclusion ensures our ongoing compliance obligations have and are recognised,” Mr Morrow said.
Also known as Rescue Coordination Centre Australia for international operations, the Response Centre in Canberra runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and leads and coordinates search and rescue, maritime casualty management and marine pollution response operations.
The Response Centre has been operating since 1997 when the Search and Rescue functions of Airservices Australia and AMSA merged into a single agency.
The Centre responds to approximately 7000 incidents per year and more than 200 lives were saved as a direct result of their efforts in 2020-2021.
“AMSA looks forward to continuing its vital role in providing emergency search and rescue, salvage and intervention, pollution response and ship and seafarer safety,” Mr Morrow said.