Working towards maritime change
WHITSUNDAY charter boat and business owners are working with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ), to implement changes resulting from new legislation that came into effect on July 1.
From July 1, AMSA became the national regulator for domestic commercial vessels and the administrator of the new national system for domestic commercial safety.
Here in the Whitsundays, acting area manager of MSQ Airlie Beach Ben Morgan, and the Airlie Beach-based AMSA standards officer Michaela Moss, have taken a proactive approach to helping local operators decipher what these changes will mean.
Last week, the MSQ office in Airlie Beach was thrown open for a series of meetings with various sectors of the maritime community including bareboat and charter operators, Cruise Whitsundays and the marine operations from Hamilton and Hayman Islands.
About 12 people attended Friday’s session including commercial operators and executives from the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association (WCBIA). Ms Moss gave a rundown of the new AMSA website where relevant information and tools can be found. She reassured operators that standards for existing vessels had not really changed and she pointed out that in many respects, Queensland was already ahead of the game.
Charter operators raised concerns over new safety requirements such as radar, which Prosail’s David Molloy said Whitsunday vessels had been operating quite safely without.
Overall, WCBIA executive secretary Deb Lewis said it appeared that Government understood the need to work with industry to implement change.
“Today, I was really heartened because it looks like they’ve worked really hard to ensure there’s a good flow of information to the industry,” she said.
WCBIA will now actively workshop any issues across the fleet in conjunction with AMSA and MSQ. To be part of that process, contact Deb Lewis on 0400 224 858. For more information visit www.nationalsystem.amsa.gov.au.
UNITED APPROACH: Greg Lambert (Kiana Sail and Dive), Jess Meyers (Wings Diving Adventures), Hannah Willan (Whitsunday Catamarans), Deb Lewis (WCBIA), Ben Morgan (MSQ), Michaela Moss (AMSA), Dave Molloy (Prosail) and Helen Scheehy (Explore Whitsudays) at a meeting last week where new maritime legislation changes were explained.