The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters (AHP20), launched by the Australian Hydrographic Office, provides information that helps vessels operate safely and according to the relevant maritime rules and regulations covering operations in Australian waters, as well as providing advice on emergency contacts and where additional information may be found to meet particular circumstances.
According to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) thousands of international transport (ITF) workers will participate in a global rally outside Australian embassies, as part of a global day action to support Australian seafarers and demand a better future for the Australian domestic shipping.
Australian authorities detained the Liberian-registered bulk carrier ‘Anna-Elisabeth’ after crew onboard the vessel complained of insufficient food, bullying aboard the vessel and denial of shore leave. ITF received the complaints from onboard the ship berthed at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal on 25 March.
Maritime unions in Canada are supporting colleagues in Australia that were sacked after an Australian shipping company decided to replace them with foreign crew on flag of convenience vessels and employed them on lower pay, with poorer conditions. The Maritime Union of Australia called the Australian government to bring in legislation to protect Australian maritime jobs.
The latest review of skills and capacity for Australian seafarers has concluded that more than 560 new workers will be needed in the next four years. These seafarers will have to be experts beyond standard qualifications. Maritime Industry Australia warns that in spite of expected increases in demand for seafaring skills, there is no increase in training options for new workers.
ITF informed of another case of crew underpayment in Australia, involving the 80,000-tonne bulk carrier ‘Villa Deste’ at a BHP terminal in Queensland. Crew aboard the ship contacted the ITF pleading for help, claiming to have no food and no onboard wages, and being fed on a $4 food budget per day.
Inspections by ITF inspectors in Western Port and Port Kembla of the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier ‘Ken Ei’, in January, led to $38,384 in coastal wages being paid immediately in cash to the 20 Filipino seafarers crewing the ship, ITF informed.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) expressed its opposition, within a statement, to the decision of BHP to fire Australian crew from two vessels that carried iron ore from Port Hedland in Western Australia to steelworks in Port Kembla and to China.
The Australian Senate inquiry finds flag of convenience shipping poses risks to national security. FOC shipping refers to international trading vessels registered in tax havens such as Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands and are renowned for their lax labour laws, poor investment controls and lack of ownership oversight.
The newly published ‘Container Stevedoring Monitoring Report’ says that increased competition in container stevedoring has pushed prices to their lowest level in 17 years. The report notes there is now infrastructure in place to support a third stevedore in each of the 3 largest container ports in Australia.
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