Work­ing to­wards mar­itime change

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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