Early Marine Safety Regulations in Australia


The first column on the first page of the first issue of the first newpaper published in Australia, the Sydney Gazette, contained an order by the Governor concerning marine safety.



Sydney Gazette Vol.1 Number 1.

Saturday, March 5, 1803

General Orders.

Repeated complaints having been made of the great losses sustained by the settlers at Hawkesbury, from the vexatious conduct of the Boatmen by whom they send their Grain to Sydney, the following Regulations are to be observed.

Every person sending grain from the Hawkesbury to Sydney in an open boat, or a boat that is not trust-worthy, the Magistrates are directed to take no notice thereof.

If on proof it appears that the Master of a Boat receives more grain than the vessel ought to take with safety, the Master shall make good any quantity he may throw overboard, or otherwise damage, lose the freight of that part, and, on conviction before two Magistrates, forfeit 5l. to the Orphan Fund.

If it shall appear to the Magistrates that the grain coming round to Sydney has been wetted, that it might weigh heavier or measure more than the quantity put on board, the Master will, on conviction, forfeit 5l. to the Orphan Fund.

The Commanding Officer of the New South Wales Corps will direct the Corporal of the Guard on board the Castle of Good Hope to read the General Orders that are marked of in the Extracts he is furnished with to the Corporal, and the Party that relieves him; the said Orders are also to be read to the Guard on board the Supply Hulk.

By Command of His Excellency          W.N.Chapman, Sec.

Government House, Feb. 21, 1803.