• EPA Tasmania
  • Assesment
  • Regulation & Assessment
  • Sustainability
  • Policy & Legislation

Background to the Directive

​​​The Directive is a risk-based approach to sewage discharge which specifies where sewage may and may not be discharged from certain vessels into Tasmanian waters. 

Directive on The ​Discharge of Sewage from Certain Vessels into State Waters:

  Sewage Management Directive   (4Mb)

A series of Boat Sewage Discharge maps is available to help illustrate what the directive means for various areas of water around the state. The maps should be read in conjunction with the Directive.

The Directive is intended to ensure that sewage is not discharged in areas where it presents a significant risk to the environment or public health. Previously, the discharge of sewage from any vessel was an offence in all State waters under the Pollution of Waters by Oils and Noxious Substances Act 1987 (PWONSA).

Parliament passed an amendment to PWONSA to provide that the offence provision will not apply to discharge which complies with a Sewage Management Directive. The Directive is primarily intended to apply to local vessels - the existing offence will not apply to them if they comply with it.  

The offence pr​​​​ovision of PWONSA also applies to vessels to which Annex IV of MARPOL applies, and Annex IV sets out what such vessels must do to avoid the offence. Larger Australian vessels to which Annex IV applies (because they engage in international voyages) are also dealt with under the existing provisions of PWONSA, in that they are to comply with the requirements of Marine Order 96 in force under the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983 of the Commonwealth, and the Navigation Act 2013 of the Commonwealth.

The Directive was made by the Director after consultation with an expert working group over many months and after a call for public comment on a Draft Directive.

More information:  

​Water Section
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599
Email: water@epa.tas.gov.au​

The Environment Protection Authority acknowledges the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of lutruwita (Tasmania) and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.