Shipping Consultative Forum

Forum charter

Section 1: Establishing the forum composition and appointment process

Due to the small number of peak bodies and representative organisations for the international shipping sector in Australia, the AMSA Chief Executive Officer will directly appoint members from peak bodies and associations as well as individuals who have the expertise to address the strategic challenges of the industry and priorities of national interest.

Section 2: Purpose and role of the forum

The purpose and role of the Forum is established by the Terms of Reference. The Terms of Reference and effectiveness of the Forum will be reviewed every two years and the timing will correspond with the review of the Forum composition.

Section 3: Members  


A member is appointed for a fixed term of two years unless:

  • the member tenders their earlier resignation (in writing) to the Chair
  • the member breaches the appointment terms and conditions set out in this document, resulting in their termination (in writing) by the Chair, or  
  • the member’s tenure is extended by the Chair in agreement with the member.


Members are responsible for:

  • making every effort to participate in meetings (including those out-of-session)  
  • nominating a proxy for confirmation by the Chair in the event a member is unable to participate in a meeting,
  • preparing for meetings by reviewing meeting papers before the session and where required seeking clarification
  • seeking advice from the stakeholders they represent on matters to be tabled
  • participating  in  discussions  (including  out-of-sessions)  and  providing  clear  and unambiguous advice to the Chair
  • treating members, the Chair and the Secretariat with consideration and respect as per the behaviours contained in the Terms of Reference
  • supporting the work of the Forum publicly
  • respecting confidentiality of all matters discussed and information provided.

Participation costs

Forum members are required to book and pay for all travel and associated costs to participate in meetings. AMSA will meet all venue and meeting costs, a light meal will be provided for in person meetings in excess of four hours duration.


Where a member is advised that information is confidential the member must not disclose that information without the approval of the Chair.

Media engagement

Members must not discuss the Forum’s work with any media or social media agency. This includes providing formal or informal background information, documents or comments. A member approached by the media for information relating to the Forum must direct the media to AMSA.

Publication of biographies

The transparency of the membership is of utmost importance to industry therefore members must consent to the public disclosure of their appointment as a Forum member, and to the publication of a photo, basic biographical details and organisational overview.

Section 4: Governance arrangements

Chair duties

The Chair of the Forum will be AMSA’s Chief Executive Officer.

The Chair may nominate an alternate to cover absences or conflicting priorities of the regulator.

The Chair will ensure:

  • meetings and the business of the Forum is managed efficiently and effectively
  • all members and invitees are engaged at Forum meetings
  • clear outcomes are reached in regard to each matter discussed
  • the Forum fulfils its objectives under the Terms of Reference
  • the advice or guidance provided by members will be well considered.

For each session or activity the Chair will:

  • liaise with the Secretariat on Forum matters, particularly meeting organisation, work planning and liaison with members
  • work with the Secretariat to ensure members receive all relevant information from relevant agencies, organisations, stakeholders and are prepared for each session or activity
  • report to the AMSA Executive on the activities of the Forum in the form of a short brief summarising key advice and if relevant, dissenting views
  • provide copies of the final meeting minutes and public communique.

Secretariat duties

The Secretariat will be provided by AMSA. The Secretariat is responsible for the efficient coordination of Forum activities, including:

  • meeting preparation, venue arrangements (including teleconference/ videoconferencing as required)
  • liaising with members to ensure they are adequately prepared for the meeting
  • ensuring members are aware of their duties
  • calling for agenda items, preparing and circulating the agenda and meeting papers
  • meeting operations, including taking meeting minutes and meeting logistics
  • preparation, circulation and finalisation of the Forum outputs and follow up of actions arising
  • publishing outcomes
  • liaising and communicating actions and outcomes with other AMSA forums and committees.

Meeting coordination

The Chair and Secretariat will make every effort to schedule meetings at a time convenient to all members, and to provide at least one month notice of confirmed meeting dates.

Meetings will be held at least twice a year, by virtual means, with the option to attend in person once a year. Additional meetings may be convened by the Chair, with the logistics to be advised by the Secretariat.

The Chair, in consultation with the Secretariat, may arrange a meeting, or support attendance, by telephone, video conference or other appropriate means, where circumstances dictate this is necessary.

Members will advise the Secretariat as soon as possible if they are unable to attend a meeting. If members are unable to attend a meeting, they may nominate a proxy for consideration and endorsement by the chair.

In the event the majority of members cannot attend on a proposed date the Chair will advise an alternate date for the meeting to be held. An indicative timeline for meeting activities is included at Annex A.

Agendas and papers

Meeting agendas will be drafted by the Secretariat, in consultation with the Chair and members. The Chair will approve all papers before circulation.

Members can propose agenda items and papers or suggest relevant guests. Suggestions should be sent to the Secretariat, for consideration by the Chair.

Agendas and papers will be provided to members two weeks before the next scheduled meeting. Hardcopy meeting papers will not be provided.

Late submission of papers will only be accepted following approval by the Chair.

The Secretariat will provide a level of quality assurance on papers, ensuring consistency in the use of relevant templates, and correction of typographical and grammatical errors.

Any presentations for use at meetings must be submitted five days in advance of the meeting, indicating whether the presentation can be circulated after the meeting.


Following each meeting, the Secretariat will draft:

  • non-attributive meeting minutes (for reference of AMSA and members), and
  • a public communique.

The draft outputs will be cleared by the Chair prior to circulation by the Secretariat to all meeting attendees for comment and clearance.

Meeting minutes will be taken by the Secretariat at every meeting, summarising discussions, noting guidance, advice or recommendations made by the Forum and recording any dissenting views. Records will be non-attributable and shall not purport to be a transcript of the proceedings. In addition, key meeting points will be summarised in a draft public communique.

The draft meeting minutes and public communique will be emailed to members within three weeks following the meeting, where practicable. Members will be given two weeks to lodge comments or corrections. In the event consensus cannot be reached in the content of external outputs, the Chair will make the final decision on the content of the report.

The Secretariat will action member comments, in consultation with the Chair, and arrange the distribution or publication of final versions as follows:

  • circulate meeting minutes to Forum members, and
  • arrange for the public communique to be published on the AMSA website and other channels as appropriate.

All records will be maintained consistent with AMSA’s recordkeeping policies and procedures.

Out-of-session activity

Where practicable, all matters requiring discussion and/or endorsement by the Forum should be dealt with as part of a scheduled meeting. By agreement of the Chair, matters and papers may be considered out-of-session.

Out-of-session items approved by the Chair will be circulated to Members by the Secretariat. Members are required to respond to the Secretariat within the stated timeframes.

All out-of-session discussions shall be noted at the next scheduled Forum meeting and recorded in the meeting records.

Annex A

Indicative meeting delivery timeline 

ActivityResponsibilityNotification/ response time
Invitations issued and call for agenda itemsSecretariat8 weeks (prior)
Attendance confirmed and agenda items submittedMembers6 weeks
Agenda confirmedChair5 weeks
Contributors notified of confirmed agenda and due date for paperSecretariat5 weeks
Papers due (internal and external)Members/ AMSA staff3 weeks
Papers cleared by ChairChair2 weeks
Papers circulated to membersSecretariat2 weeks
Draft meeting outputs submitted to ChairSecretariat2 weeks (post)
Outputs cleared by Chair Outputs circulated to membersChair Secretariat3 weeks
Members provide comment on outputsMembers5 weeks
Final versions produced, published and circulatedSecretariat6 weeks

Out-of-session activities

ActivityResponsibilityTime allowed *
Activity communicated to membersSecretariat 
Members consideration and consultation periodMembers2 - 4 weeks
Activity finalised and outcome communicatedChair/ Secretariat2 - 4 weeks

* subject to complexity