YEAR IN REVIEW
Electronic Service Delivery
Serving the boating community is the mission of NSW Maritime. This goal is being increasingly achieved through smarter service delivery and that means electronic service delivery.
NSW Maritime has a proud history of being able to keep near the forefront of electronic service delivery.
Through the 1990s, NSW Maritime gradually improved its ability to offer e-business solutions and service delivery.
In February 1996 customers were able to pay for their licence, registration and mooring renewal over the telephone.
In March 1999, NSW Maritime was one of the first government agencies to provide an online renewal service for these transactions.
Electronic service delivery is also an important element of the Boating Safety Communications and Education Plan. The principal focus of the plan is skipper responsibility, with secondary themes related to lifejacket use, safe navigation, trip planning, and alcohol restrictions. The plan includes specific campaigns on each theme, targeted at varying boating demographics and using a range of communication and education tools. Reflecting the rapid evolution in communications technology, the plan identifies the Internet as a channel targeted for significant expansion.
The first significant educational service delivery initiative by NSW Maritime was the establishment of a webcam trial launched in 2008 to provide real time video vision of the most popular bar crossings in NSW. This past year, this network was expanded to include the first high-country web cam which is located at Lake Eucumbene.
An online weather alert service was introduced in 2009. This service allows a person to choose the area of interest along the coast, or in Alpine areas, and to choose how often the alert is sent and most importantly, what wind threshold a person wants to be alerted to. In this way, it is possible to customise the alert to be of most use to an individual. This email service does not replace the official forecast and Maritime strongly recommends all skippers keep a close eye on the official weather.
In March 2010, NSW Maritime launched an online vessel navigation tool that allows people to test their knowledge of the buoyage and navigation light system. The agency liaised with, and gained permission from, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute of the UK, to adapt their existing product for use in NSW and other Australian states if needed.
In June 2010, an online facilities locator service was launched that allows people to locate, view details and obtain directions to services such as Maritime Service Centres, Government Access Centres and RTA offices, boatcode agents, boat ramps, waterside fuel and sewage pumpouts.
During 2010-2011, NSW Maritime migrated to the Government Licensing Service (GLS) which is designed to simplify licence processing across NSW through a single integrated system. These range from business, occupational, recreational and community service licences to various other types of certificates, notifications, permits and registrations. As of June 2011, the GLS system managed over 4.9 million NSW licences across more than 80 different licence types.
The next electronic service to be offered is an extension of the Maritime Alert to support the upcoming Don't Expire safety awareness campaign.
As every responsible skipper knows, there are certain items in the safety equipment list that have an expiry date. Such dates are applied in a bid to ensure this equipment will work when needed, which can include life threatening circumstances.
Safety gear that carry expiry dates include: flares, emergency position indicating radio beacons and inflatable lifejackets.
To help skippers understand their responsibility, the Don't Expire campaign will see an additional feature within the Maritime Alert that will allow a person to set personal reminders online for their safety equipment.