Maritime safety authority lights the way for new stream of infrastructure work


Australian businesses will soon learn about a new stream of government contract-based work on the horizon in 2024 in an innovative new delivery model for the ongoing maintenance of a network of important aids to navigation – from heritage-listed lighthouses through to floating buoys and beacons around Australia.

Ahead of a formal release of multiple tenders in the New Year, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is encouraging businesses to register for notifications about forthcoming tenders for infrastructure work on AusTender (category reference number 72100000).

Tenders will seek contractors for outage response and essential maintenance tasks delivered in regional zones and, separately, a centralised technical support and logistics function. The essential maintenance on the aids to navigation will include electrical work, general building and grounds maintenance.

AMSA Acting Executive Director, Kevin McEvoy, said the new model would open opportunities for a broader range of Australian businesses to contribute to critical infrastructure projects in some of Australia’s most iconic locations.

Mr McEvoy said the previous model consolidated ongoing maintenance tasks into a single contract with a national provider, with other work on the network such as upgrades being contracted to other specialist contractors – all underpinned by AMSA’s own in-house technical expertise.

“While a recent approach to market to continue with a single national contract for maintenance did not result in AMSA awarding a contract, it did provide us with an unexpected opportunity to re-evaluate, build and diversify our maintenance delivery model,” Mr McEvoy said.

“Much has changed in the last 20 years and as custodians of parts of Australia’s aids to navigation network, it is our duty to ensure it is future-proofed for the next 20 years, and beyond.

“For trades businesses, this is incredibly rewarding work which provides a chance to grow the skills and experience of their workforce.”

Business owners are encouraged to register for notifications on AusTender now.


The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) provides an effective network of marine Aids to Navigation (AtoN) consisting of about 480 AtoN located at about 360 sites around Australia’s coastline, which assist mariners to make safe and efficient passages.

The general location of aids and sites are shown in Figure 1 – AtoN locations.

Map of Australia with AtoN locations

The AtoN network consists of the following equipment distributed across Australia:

  1. Main lights,
  2. Secondary lights,
  3. Buoys (floating AtoN),
  4. Unlit beacons,
  5. Radar beacons (RACON’s),
  6. Automatic Identification System (AIS) stations, and
  7. Met-ocean sensors for an Under Keel Clearance Management (UKCM) system in the Torres Strait that includes tide gauges, directional wave rider buoys, current meter and weather station.

Examples of AtoN in use across the AMSA network are shown in Figure 2 – Typical AtoN sites.

Selection of six images showing different types of AtoNs.

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