Disciplinary action

Safe Transport Victoria is in charge of safety in the marine, bus and CPV industry and we may need to use disciplinary action to ensure this.

The main aim of disciplinary action is to make sure rules are followed,  to prevent safety problems in the future, and encourage a culture of safety.

When do we take disciplinary action?

1. You break the rules.
2. You don’t follow the conditions of your accreditation, authorisation, or permission.
3. You’re charged with a crime.
4. You no longer meet the requirements for your accreditation, authorisation, or permission.

For information on fines and infringements, please see here.

We may issue an improvement notice to deal with a current or likely breach of the:

or to address operations or services that threaten safety.

An improvement notice will require you to take a specified action, before a specified date. Failure to do this is an offence.

You can apply for an internal review of an improvement notice – more details are below.

A prohibition notice stops someone from doing something if there’s proof that it is an immediate risk to safety. It stays in place until we give a certificate saying it’s safe.

You can challenge a prohibition notice – more details are below.

Safe Transport Victoria must suspend your CPV or bus driver accreditation if your driver license has been suspended or cancelled.

When your driver licence is current again you can apply to have your driver accreditation reinstated. This means we will either:

  1. Reinstate your driver accreditation, or
  2. Send you a notice of proposed disciplinary action.

Suspending or canceling your accreditation is a serious action.

This can happen if:

  1. You don’t follow the rules for your driver accreditation.
  2. You’re charged with a crime.
  3. You no longer meet the requirements for being accredited, like providing safe services, and carrying out your driver duties properly.

If you’re suspended, you might need more training, have certain rules added to your accreditation, or face further consequences.

If your accreditation is canceled, you might not be allowed to apply for it again for up to five years.

Your accreditation can also be suspended right away if Safe Transport Victoria is considering taking action against you, or if we recieve very concerning information. This suspension lasts until we make a decision about your accreditation.

Safe Transport Victoria must suspend your driving accreditation if you’re charged with a very serious crime, such as

  1. A violent or sexual crime.
  2. Sexual crimes against a child or someone with cognitive impairment.
  3. Serious driving crimes.
  4. Crimes related to child pornography.
  5. Crimes connected to terrorism.

If you are proven guilty of one of these, Safe Transport Victoria must cancel your driver accreditation.

If you’re not found guilty,  will let you provide services again as an accreditted driver.

We prosecute when the breach is serious enough, considering the pros and cons for public safety, our resources, and the person responsible.

You can request a review if you disagree with a decision we make. You can also apply for a review if we’ve imposed conditions, revoked or added new ones, issued a written direction, or declared a seized item as forfeited.

If we’ve already had a decision reviewed internally, you cannot apply for another review.

To be eligible to apply for an internal review, you must fall into one of these categories:

  1. You’re applying for driver accreditation or registration.
  2. You’re an accredited driver, a vehicle owner, or a registered BSP.
  3. You’re connected to any of the above in a relevant way.

Here’s how to apply for an internal review:

  1. Fill out the Internal Review form.
  2. Submit the form within 20 business days of receiving the original decision.

You can send the form by email to internalreview@safetransport.vic.gov.au or mail it to:

Managing Senior Lawyer
Safe Transport Victoria
GPO Box 1716 Melbourne
VIC 3001

Once we get your application, you’ll receive a decision within 20 business days. We’ll contact you if we need more information.

After the internal review, we can:

  1. Confirm the original decision.
  2. Modify the original decision.
  3. Replace the original decision with a new one.

If you disagree with the decision, we’ll provide information about your further review options in the decision notice.

If a police officer suspects a boat was used in a crime, they can:

  1. Stop anyone from using the boat for up to 48 hours.
  2. Stop the boat’s captain from using it for up to 24 hours or make them take it to the closest docking spot.

Maritime Safety Victoria and Victoria Police also have a general power to direct that a vessel:

  • Must not be operated on State waters
  • May only be operated on State waters on specified conditions for a specified period.

If a boat seems unsafe, we might temporarily keep it and check its condition and equipment. When we get the report, we can either:

  1. Release the boat if it’s safe.
  2. Keep the boat until it meets safety requirements..

We use these instructions or notices when:

  1. There’s a serious safety risk based on the evidence.
  2. This is the best way to address the risk.
  3. The person responsible for the boat’s safety has a history of not following rules.

We might conduct an inquiry to decide if there’s a good reason to take disciplinary action. We do this when:

1. There’s a serious safety problem or risk.
2. Someone is accused of a major violation of safety laws related to transportation.
3. A significant incident or accident has occurred.
4. The issue has such a big impact that it’s in the public interest for us to investigate.
5. An inquiry is the best way to handle the situation because there isn’t enough evidence for enforcement action.
6. The matter falls within our current safety focus areas.

If we hold an inquiry, the person being investigated will be treated fairly.

Generally, the safety issue should be more severe than what a regular compliance investigation or inspection can handle (for example, where it is necessary to temporarily suspend a permission).

We also have the authority to investigate transportation safety issues, including violations of safety laws, with the purpose of taking legal or disciplinary action.

Suspending or canceling a permission is a very strong action, and it’s only done when:

1. It’s absolutely necessary to protect public safety in transportation.
2. The person or organization with the permission has seriously broken the safety rules.

We consider:
– How risky their actions were and if they caused harm or death.
– How their actions affected others or the public.
– If they’ve broken the rules before.
– If their actions were a one-time mistake or part of a bigger safety problem.
– If they tried to hide what they did.

3. If there’s no other way to fix the safety problem using rules or tools.
4. The punishment matches the risk.
5. The punishment is fair and reasonable in the situation.