On 5 July 2011, Regulation Impact Statements were tabled in Parliament regarding a suite of measures related to the regulation of activity in the Antarctic region. The measures include liability arising from environmental emergencies, landing persons from passenger vessels, and insurance and contingency planning for tourism and non-government activities.
The measures were adopted unanimously by Parties to the Antarctic Treaty. The measures impose a number of obligations on tourist operators in the Antarctic region, including requiring tourist operators (whether by boat or plane) to undertake contingency/accident planning, maintain adequate insurance or other financial security and carry/land only a certain number of passengers at one time. To implement these obligations domestically, amendments are required to the Antarctic Treaty Act 1960 (Cth) and the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 (Cth).
Regulation Impact Statements for the measures were prepared by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, and were assessed as adequate by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.