The NSW Passenger Transport Act 1990 allows OTSI to investigate any safety occurrence involving a ferry, with a seating capacity of more than 8 adults, that is involved in providing a public passenger service.
An investigation may be initiated by the Chief Investigator or the NSW Minister for Transport and Roads as the result of a safety occurrence or following the identification of an adverse safety trend.
The purpose of an OTSI investigation is to identify why an accident or incident occurred and to make recommendations to prevent recurrence. OTSI Investigation reports are tabled by the NSW Minister for Transport and Roads in both houses of the NSW Parliament and are also published on OTSI's website.
The nature of OTSI investigations is different to those carried out by safety regulators and enforcement agencies. OTSI applies a 'no blame' approach where the primary purpose is to identify the contributory factors that lead to a safety occurrence, rather than apportion blame or liability. If it is identified that the safety occurrence was the result of a malicious act, then the matter will be referred to the relevant transport authority or the Police.