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Australia spells out ship bans

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has released a Marine Order detailing its 'three strikes and you're out' policy for ships breaching international safety and labour standards.


'Directions and refusal of access to Australian ports' details AMSA's newfound powers under the Navigation Act 2012.

AMSA may refuse a ship access to Australian ports if it has a poor port state control (PSC) record or there are concerns about its vessel operator.  The notice warns shipowners of a three-month ban on a vessel if it returns to Australia without carrying out corrective action required after having three detentions in the past two years.

Vessels that have been barred for three months, then return only to be detained again within two years are banned for a further 12 months. If still found to breach safety and labour laws upon return, AMSA may refuse a vessel entry to Australian ports for a further two years.  The notice highlights wages, crew welfare, fatigue management, and unsound navigation practices, especially while transiting the Great Barrier Reef as issues leading to detentions and bans.


Vessels breaching Australian legislation or with substandard vessel operator management system that poses "a significant risk to the welfare of seafarers, their safety, or Australia's marine environment" can also be expelled from Australian waters.  "A direction resulting from a new detention in Australia will generally have effect as soon as the vessel leaves the Australian port or anchorage following the clearance of the latest detainable deficiency," the notice details.  AMSA, however, says it may allow the vessel access to a specific port in the event of force majeure or overriding safety considerations.

3 Dead in Timber Hold

Three men died after entering a confined space aboard the German-flagged general cargo ship Suntis at Goole docks, Humberside.  Initial investigations by the UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, show that signs were ignored, safety procedures were not followed and during the recovery of the three unconscious crewmen, safety equipment was used incorrectly and inappropriately.


MAIB has issued the following Safety Bulletin:  At approximately 0645 (UTC+1) on 26 May 2014, three crew members on board the cargo ship, Suntis, were found unconscious in the main cargo hold forward access compartment, which was sited in the vessel’s forecastle. The crew members were recovered from the compartment but, despite intensive resuscitation efforts by their rescuers, they did not survive.

The vessel was carrying a cargo of sawn timber and, at the time of the accident, shore stevedores were discharging the timber loaded on top of the forward hatch cover. Two of the ship’s crew were standing by to clear away the deck cargo’s protective tarpaulins as the timber discharge progressed aft. During this time, the two crewmen entered the forward main hold access compartment. The chief officer, who was looking for the two crewmen, found the compartment hatch cover open and shouted down to them before climbing into the space. A third crewman saw the chief officer enter the compartment. When he looked down the hatch, he saw the chief officer collapse.

Melbourne Chooses Operator of Its New RoRo Terminal

Joint venture company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics with its subsidiary Melbourne International Ro-Ro Automotive Terminal (MIRRAT) has been selected winner by the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) for the development of the automotive and Roll-On Roll–Off (RoRo) terminal in Webb Dock West.


A world class terminal for the Webb Dock West project will benefit Melbourne, and ultimately support stronger trade through the Port of Melbourne for the Automotive and RoRo industries.   MIRRAT as part of the WWL Terminal Holdings group of companies taps into global experience in design, development and management of terminals in a number of countries across the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Rob Lord, WWL Head of Oceania commented:  “MIRRAT will be an innovative and world class terminal that Australia, particularly Melbournians can be proud of. This terminal will be unique with a focus on modern design and strong environmental performance. Its efficient operations will support Melbourne’s growing trade requirements over the next 30 years”


The construction of the terminal will begin in late 2014 and once operational, will have the capacity to handle up to a million units annually.

Offshore worker visa rules tightened after Senate vote

A move to block the simplification of visa requirements for offshore oil rig works has been hailed a win for Australian jobs.


Critics say the plan to allow foreign workers to access temporary visas to work on oil rigs would have allowed migrant workers to be exploited at the expense of Australian jobs.  The Coalition planned to remove a requirement put in place by the Gillard government which would force oil and gas rig workers from abroad to have a 457 skilled migration visa.

Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party last night blocked the move in the Senate.  Greens Senator Adam Bandt this morning said the move would protect local jobs and wages.   "Last night, the Senate stood up to the government and disallowed a regulation that would have seen workers in Australian waters, working on Australian projects, extracting Australian oil and gas, not having to be paid Australian minimum wages and conditions," he said.


Earlier, Assistant Minister for Immigration Michaelia Cash slammed the decision, saying it put the jobs of thousands of foreign workers in jeopardy.  A full senate transcript can be downloaded below

Port of Hastings Expansion

Victorian Minister for Ports David Hodgett has announced a major milestone for the Port of Hastings expansion with the project being declared under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act.  The Port of Hastings expansion is one of several major transport projects to be declared under the Act, including East West Link, and the move paves the way for the planning approvals process to commence.


“Planning for our economic future is critical and the Coalition Government’s investment in the Port of Hastings expansion will translate into the creation of thousands of ongoing Victorian jobs for decades, while retaining our position as the nation’s freight and logistics capital,” Mr Hodgett said.

“Without investing to meet future demand, Victoria will reach container capacity by the mid-2020s, even with the benefit of current  expansion projects at the Port of Melbourne. This is why the Port of Hastings expansion is so critical to preserving our export and manufacturing industries and supporting the future liveability and economic growth of the state.

Chris Noon now a member of the Australian Institute of Marine Surveyors (AIMS)

Chris Noon recently became a member of the Australian Institute of Marine Surveyors (AIMS).  After 39 years in the industry Chris decided it was time to become a member of this professional association and is looking forward to benefiting from the wealth of knowledge available as well as taking an active part in contributing to the association.

The Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors is the largest industry body in the Australasian region for professional marine surveyors and their cross sector colleagues.  Membership of AIMS gives its members with access to a wealth of knowledge, support, accreditation and training.


AIMS strive to provide members with the 3 main elements needed to protect and promote their business - “talent, integrity, excellence”

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