Industry and union groups have raised concern over the regulation of work in Australia’s offshore maritime zones due to the lack of clarity in the definition of the term ‘migration zone,’ as stated within the act.

In May 2012, the Allseas case found that the Migration Zone, as currently defined in the Migration Act, does not extend to vessels engaged in laying pipeline on the seabed. As a consequence of the decision, non-citizen workers on such vessels were therefore not deemed to require visas.

“The decision gives rise to concern regarding the regulation of non-citizen workers in Australia’s territorial waters and the application of the Migration Zone to specific modes of economic activity. The government is therefore of the view that legislative change is required,” an Australian Government discussion paper states.