Greetings

We are commencing with a couple of ‘incident’ reports in Western Port Bay and in Port Phillip Bay. Both relate to an extent to the sub-optimal maritime infrastructure we have in Victoria.

Contents

1. Submarine in Port Phillip Bay – now you see it, now you don’t.
2. Western Port Drama – Lost Propellor
3. Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)
4. Captain Cook – Explorer, Navigator and Cartographer
5. Two Modern Voyages of Discovery
6. Where is it the CSIRO research vessel Investigator now?
7. P&O Line Heritage Collection
8. Cerberus Open Day- Sunday 3 March 2024
9. Women on Water
10. News on Boat Festivals – Three to keep in mind
11. Tumlarens?
12. St Ayles Skiffs
13. Port of Geelong – Heritage photo tells quite a tale
14. Historic Vessel Preservation the Edwin Fox
15. Underwater Data Centres – a new maritime industry?
16. Undersea Cables – Humboldt project
17. Central Pier Saga – Movement at last?
18. Lessons from maritime conflict in the Red Sea
19. Australian Shipping Organisations
20. Australian Bulker
21. Complexity of Ship ownership
22. Australian Strategic Fleet
23. Maritime Skills Deficit
24. Port Phillip Sea Pilots (PPSP)
25. Two upcoming MMHN Events

1. Submarine in Port Phillip Bay – now you see it, now you don’t.

Submarines seem to be very often in the media these days – sometime tantalisingly close io home. A disappointing and anticlimactic outcome for Melbourne from a long-anticipated visit to Station Pier RAN Collins Class submarine HMAS Dechaineux which entered Port Phillip Bay on the 7/2 escorted into the Port of Melbourne by several tugs. The initial plan was to dock at Station Pier so that the community could visit the pier to see the vessel, a great opportunity for the City of Port Philip, the RAN and for maritime enthusiasts around the State. Ports Victoria, fearing damage to Station Pier diverted the submarine, shunting it off to Yarraville wharf No 6 which is without public access. Regrettably the people of Melbourne were not able to enjoy viewing this the fourth of six Collins Class submarines operated by the RAN.

Named for Captain Emile Dechaineux, the boat was laid down in 1993 and launched in 1998. One of the two fully operational submarines in service before the last Oberon-class submarine was decommissioned. What does this incident tell us Station Pier about the Melbourne’s primary maritime infrastructure? Is it deficient? Is it inadequately maintained certainly under-funded? This is simply unacceptable.

Image: RAN

 

2. Western Port Drama – Lost Propellor

When entering Westernport on Friday, 2/2 an LPG tanker, the Bougainville, lost its propeller. The vessel initially anchored off Flinders, before being towed to an anchorage off Phillip Island at Cowes.

MMHN thanks Ian Thomson and Gregory Adamowicx, members of the Peninsula Ship Society for sharing this account of the incident. Ian raises Victoria’s critical deficit, namely – too few Dry Docks. “It will be interesting to see what they do with the vessel. It highlights what we have been saying for years now. Eastern Australia lacks dry docks. Will it go into “Captain Cook”, or will it go to Singapore? A new tail shaft and prop. will not come from Bunnings.” The incident:

Amid patchy clouds and swirling seas near Melbourne, locals and visitors alike have turned their gaze towards an unusual spectacle—a Panama-registered LPG carrier named the Bougainville, now a temporary fixture in the region’s coastal panorama. Last week, what started as a routine journey for the Bougainville from Vanuatu to Australia took an unexpected turn. The 328-foot vessel suddenly found itself adrift after a baffling mishap resulted in the complete loss of its propeller during what seemed like standard pre-arrival engine testing.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) proved their mettle as sea guardians by dispatching a rescue operation. Their prompt action ensured the ship and its crew remained safe, averting potential risks to the ocean’s delicate ecosystems. A professional dive team examined the vessel and unearthed that the propeller had indeed sheered right off, laying the foundation for a complex repair process involving shaft withdrawal. Anchored now at a calm shelter near Cowes, the Bougainville has drawn more attention ashore than the usual passing vessel might. Repair arrangements are underway, led by the combined efforts of Hiyoshi Shipping Co., the ship’s owner, and Oceangas, its local manager. As the maritime community buzzes with the logistics of fixing a ship that floats on a trove of liquefied gas, the incident underscores the meticulousness required in maritime operations and maintenance. This LPG carrier, one among a fleet that connects energy supply lines across the Pacific, has its voyage on pause, but certainly not forgotten in the vital narrative of global shipping”.


Image: Walter Pless, Marinetraffic.com

 

3. Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)

This REALLY matters – and it’s hard to fathom – pardon the nautical pun – what happens in the Atlantic impacts globally, but according to geophysicists the AMOC has an “outsized role in climate, past, present, and (likely) future”. Counter-intuitively global warming may indeed serve to melt glacial ice but may ultimately result in a much colder global climate.

Climate scientists reporting in The Conversation (7/4) share detailed climate modelling aimed at finding the climatic ‘tipping point’ for an abrupt shutdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation which may be triggered by slowly increasing the input of fresh glacial melt water due to global warming.  Sustaining oceanic the circulation is crucial for carrying heat from the tropics to the northern latitudes, Despite the ‘sinking ‘branch of the AMOC being confined to a tiny part of the globe, the part it plays in our climate is crucial. A detailed climate model experimented slowly increasing the input of fresh water in order to indicate, not predict, the likely ‘tipping point’ for an abrupt shutdown of the warming current.

All ocean currents are driven by winds, tides and water density differences – including temperature. Atlantic Ocean circulation, the relatively warm and salty surface water (ie Gulf Stream) from near the equator flows toward Greenland. During its journey it crosses the Caribbean Sea, loops up into the Gulf of Mexico, and then flows along the U.S. East Coast before crossing the Atlantic and bringing heat to Europe. As it flows northward and cools, the water mass becomes heavier. By the time it reaches Greenland, it starts to sink and flow southward. The sinking of water near Greenland pulls water from elsewhere in the Atlantic Ocean and the cycle repeats. Too much fresh water from melting glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet can dilute the saltiness of the water changing its density and preventing it from sinking.

In The Conversation (August 2023) physicist Peter Ditlevsen and statistician Susanne Ditlevsen reported alarming and controversial findings, a study published in Nature Communications “warned that a critical ocean system that brings warm water up the North Atlantic, also known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), was at risk of collapse by 2095 for want of drastic emissions cuts. While AMOC was already known to be at its slowest in 1600 years, the latest research ushers in a much closer time estimation for a collapse between 2025 and 2095, with a central estimate of 2057. If proven correct, this scenario could see temperatures drop by 5 to 10 degrees in Europe, with devastating consequences for life as we know it.”

See:  Nature: Warning of a forthcoming collapse of the AMOC
The Conversation: Atlantic Collapse Q&A
The Conversation: Atlantic Ocean Tipping Point


Image: How the Atlantic Ocean circulation changes as it slows. IPCC 6th Assessment Report.

 

4. Captain Cook – Explorer, Navigator and Cartographer

After an incident of misdirected vandalism involving toppling the statue of Captain Cook on Australia Day 2024 in the municipality of Port Phillip, there was initially a controversial response to this act by Councillors. However, Mayor Cunsolo stated: “We are united as a council in sending a very clear message to vandals that they do not dictate which cultural public assets are allowed to stand in our city” . 

See: The Guardian: Captain Cook Statue at St Kilda

In response to calls that the stature be removed and although Captain Cook did not visit this area on his travels, local indigenous leaders, the Boonwarrung Land and Sea Council argued for re-instatement of the statue and that to do otherwise would undermine community heritage and First Nations Heritage as well. Cook’s expedition voyages on the Endeavour established the useful principle of sending scientists on naval voyages—e.g., Charles Darwin in the Beagle—and stimulated interest not only in new lands but in many other scientific subjects.

Cooks extraordinary skills as a navigator are well documented. You may see his instruments at the National Museum in Canberra. Cook cleverly adapted this land-surveying method to rapidly chart Pacific coastlines as a running survey from the deck of a moving ship. His charts of the coasts of New Zealand and Australia were drawn up using the plane table method, which required Cook to sail close to shore. A Surveyor’s plane table frame assisted in accurate coastal mapping. The frame held paper firmly in place on the top of the plane table, a level surface used for surveying with a compass and a sighting device called an ‘alidade’.

See: NMA: Cook Navigational Instruments


Image: Britannica website.


Image: Cooks Plane Table from the NMA website.

 

5. Two Modern Voyages of Discovery

The Thomas G. Thompson (US Office of Naval Research) 

This Oceanographic Research vessel arrived recently at Melbourne in overcast conditions from Pago Pago, American Samoa and berthed at B Appleton Dock. Flagged in the USA, home port is at Seattle and built at Halter Marine Shipbuilding at Pascagoula on the Mississippi in 1991. Operated by the US Office OF Naval Research with a crew complement of 21, 2 x technicians and accommodation for a maximum of 36 scientists. Lots of information on the internet about this ship: for instance, the University of Washington, School of Oceanography’s website.

See: https://www.ocean.washington.edu/story/RV_Thomas_G_Thompson


Image: RV Thomas G Thompson by Roger Hurcombe of the WSS.

The RV Investigator (CSIRO) 

In October 2022 Museums Victoria Research Institute (MVRI), CSIRO research vessel RV Investigator, Parks Australia, Bush Blitz, Australian Museum in Sydney, and the WA Museum collaborated in a research voyage to Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) exploring the remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands- a vast region of deep abyssal plains, underwater mountains, tectonic ridges and coral atolls. The kilometres deep voyage will explore life on the seafloor, map the seamounts for the first time. 30% of the specimens are entirely new to science. Two excellent videos were produced.

See: MV: Voyage to Cocos Islands  and CSIRO: Investigators longest voyage


Image: The Investigator CSIRO.

 

6. Where is it the CSIRO research vessel Investigator now?

The RV Investigator is Australia’s flagship maritime research vessel with a global reach from the Antarctic ice-edge to the equator (see where it is right now and explore its data!). The Investigator can undertake in-depth oceanographic, biological and geoscience research, and is the first Australian vessel equipped with dedicated atmospheric laboratories with instrumentation equipped to measure meteorological ‘packages’, greenhouse gases, radon, ozone, and a range of aerosol parameters.

For upcoming voyages see:
CSIRO: Voyages / schedules and CSIRO: RV Investigator

 

7. P&O Line Heritage Collection

P&O is a familiar name to maritime enthusiasts. The extraordinary depth of history behind the name is astounding. MMHN recommends you try to absorb a phenomenal record of maritime endeavour since the line commenced in 1837, formally incorporated by Royal Charter as Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company’ which was formally incorporated by Royal Charter in 1840.

See this link: P&O History Timeline

Spurred on by the Australian gold rush, and the guaranteed income of a mail contract, P&O sent its first steamer to the New World the Chusan arrived in Sydney on 4th August 1852”and was met with a rapturous welcome. She was the first mail steamer to arrive from England and the voyage had taken just 84 days via the Cape”. The entire website is fascinating.

See:  P&O Heritage: The Collection

 

8. Cerberus Open Day- Sunday 3 March 2024

The Open Day will highlight Naval training, activities for the family and lots more. Visit the Cerberus Heritage and Learning Centre.

See: https://www.navy.gov.au/event/hmas-cerberus-open-day


Image: Cerberus Website.

 

9. Women on Water

The Women in Recreational Fishing and Boating Network (WIRFAB) is working towards raising the profile and upskilling women about fishing and boating. WIRFAB is committed to fostering a diverse recreational fishing community, striving to provide a platform where female fishers and boaters can learn, belong, and enjoy the lifestyle and its benefits together. Established in 2018, WIRFAB was created by the Victorian Fisheries Authority after the need emerged for a supportive space to share knowledge, stories, and skills about fishing .

See:  https://www.wirfab.com.au/about/


Images: WIRFAB website.

 

10. News on Boat Festivals – Three to keep in mind

2-3 March 2024 – Paynesville Classic Boat Rally

A three-day celebration of classic boats, maritime culture and cruising on the Gippsland, Victoria. A Grand Parade on Saturday features all boats available on water as they sail past the crowds and through the McMillan Strait into the open waters of Lake Victoria. On land, our trailered boats make a fantastic display of classic wooden, fiberglass and rowing boats. The St Ayles skiffs will row from Sale to Lakes Entrance as well as taking part in the Paynesville Classic Boat Rally. Classic Power Boats beautifully restored classic boats will again be showing what they can do in twice daily demonstration runs.

See: https://www.paynesvilleclassicboatrally.com.au

9-11 March 2024 – Geelong Wooden Boat Festival

Celebrating the wonderful world of wooden boats. This will largest collection of craft ever exhibited at this bi-annual festival on Geelong Corio Bay waterfront Royal Geelong Yacht Club (Classic, Modern, Couta and Tumlarens). Founded in 1859, the club gained royal patronage status in 1924.

For details of the event see: https://www.woodenboatfestivalgeelong.com.au

7-10 February 2025 – Hobart Wooden Boat Festival

Perhaps time reminder to start making plans? The Hobart Waterfront will host 400 wooden craft.

See: https://australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au/

 

11. Tumlarens?

What precisely is a Tumlaren besides a Swedish word for Porpoise? Actually there is quite a lot of Australian maritime heritage attached to Tumlarens, a type of canoe-sterned (or ‘double-ended’) yacht.

See: https://burnham.net.au/the-tumlaren-in-australia/

The Tumlaren design dates from the early 1930s “The Tumlaren was designed in 1933 for a couple of young Swedish yachtsmen in Stockholm. The design has been described as being years ahead of its time, having many aspects now common to modern thinking. According to Bert Ferris, historian at the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, the class has played a pivotal role in the history of yachting in Australia. In 1936 the club, then the Royal St Kilda Yacht Club, “set about to find a one-design class to stimulate the club’s activities,” says Bert, “as the yachts at the time were mixed and varied.” The club was after a class yacht that could be built at a reasonable expense, within the reach of all yachtsmen, that could be handled by a small crew but would still stand up well to all conditions. A late inclusion in the list of contenders was the Tumlaren. The yacht’s lines had only just been published in Yachting World Magazine that year.“ The first Tumlaren built in Australia was launched in September, 1937. By November of that year, five more were launched and made ready for the start of the sailing season. From these modest beginnings began the relatively long-lived Tumlaren one-design class in Australia, a class that has held together for a remarkable 70 years and which continues to provide keen and competitive racing today, still able to establish and break records.” 

The Tumlaren Class was adopted in 1937 by the then Royal St Kilda Yacht Club as their One Design class racing yacht. Currently there are 7 members of the ‘Tum’ fleet, actively racing on Port Philip Bay in the Classic Yacht Association Sunday races.

See: https://classicyacht.com.au


Image: Tumlaren from https://burnham.net.au/the-tumlaren-in-australia/

 

12. St Ayles Skiffs

What precisely is a St Ayles Skiff? Much maritime heritage is the answer!

Besides a class of community-built boats offering a community rowing experience at the Paynesville Rally 2024 these small vessels have captured the imaginations of community groups and boating enthusiasts world-wide “In 2009 as part of The Scottish Fisheries Museum’s strategy to stimulate boat-building activities, discussions were held with Jordan Boats to develop a new kit. Alec Jordan and Museum Trustees were inspired by the community involvement and participation in the historical tradition of Fife miners’ rowing and sailing regattas and looked to develop a boat that could engage communities in the same way. It was proposed that The Scottish Fisheries Museum develop a project to re-introduce coastal rowing to the Fife Coast, so with the aid of funding from Museums Galleries Scotland, the Scottish Fisheries Museum commissioned renowned designer Ian Oughtred to produce a new design based on, the Fair Isle Yoal.” 

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Ayles_Skiff

 

13. Port of Geelong – Heritage photo tells quite a tale

MMHN thanks John Nunn of the World Ship Society (WSS) for this fascinating report:

The 1926 photo below shows the three main piers being used commercially at the time. While there was limited use of the facilities over at Corio Quay nearly all shipping was here at these three. From top to bottom, we see the Cunningham Pier with two steamers alongside. These ships will be discharging coal which was the main purpose of this pier right through until the 1950’s when the cranes were installed on Corio Quay North. Originally called the Railway Pier it was renamed the Cunningham Pier very early on, but until not long ago you could still here the old timers still refer to it as the Railway Pier. These days it is no longer used commercially. The short pier with the two story building is the Moorabool Street Pier. This pier was used for the thriving bay steamers and pleasure steamers right up until 1938. It was also used as a layup berth for the tugs. The pier was demolished in 1948. The pier with the four masted Barque alongside was the Yarra Street Pier. It had raised deck aprons along each side and was Geelong’s main pier for imports, until the early 1960’s. The sailing vessel pictured is discharging bundles of dressed timber, probably from the West Coast of the USA. Two coal hulks can be seen on the western side of the pier. When you zoom in on the Yarra Pier, you can see very early trucks waiting for timber. There are more than likely Internationals or maybe REO’s. The Yarra Pier was destroyed by fire in the 1970’s and the remains dismantled shortly afterwards.


Image: Aerial photo was taken by Mr Charles Pratt, a prolific aerial photographer in and around Victoria in the 1920’s. His collection can be viewed (see Airspy Collection) on the Victorian State Library website).

 

14. Historic Vessel Preservation the Edwin Fox

Where there is a will, there is a way?

MMHN board member Ross Brewer on a recent visit to Picton (NZ) reported on a large project (and heroic )to preserve the Edwin Fox which is” well past restoration, but has an incredible history so they are preserving what is left” (see image below) The ship is dry-docked at The Edwin Fox Maritime Centre at Picton. An excellent Museum is attached to the project.

See: https://www.edwinfoxship.nz/about.html

Perhaps this project more daunting than the challenge we face in Melbourne properly preserving the Polly Woodside.


Images: Ross Brewer.

 

15. Underwater Data Centres – a new maritime industry?

There is the up-side and the down-side of such undersea innovations. A few years ago, Microsoft ran an experiment, Project Natick, off the Orkney Islands, trialling an underwater data centre, called Northern Isles, 117m below sea level after first sinking servers underwater in 2015.

See: Microsoft Natick Underwater Datacenter

Although Microsoft claimed Project Natick a success. There has been no news of this project since 2020, However the demand for data centres is strong in the Asia Pacific region and there is speculation that Underwater data centres may be adopted. Data centre operations use a lot of energy including power to cool the servers. Underwater data centres would:

  • save energy costs by using the water as a natural coolant.
  • free up land above sea level for other purposes
  • But the underwater data centres are problematic. They need to be large and easily accessible sites within global jurisdiction ,on stable areas of seafloor. The undersea environment is required specialized knowledge, is subject to change – geological, temperature, weather and pressure. Planning permission to accommodate environmental concerns and disruption during construction and operation potentially adversely affecting marine life, tourism and fishing industries along coastal areas. Such considerations obviously add to the cost of construction
  • Add to this, in the Asia-Pacific with its particular blend of geopolitical considerations, undersea data centres would be ‘soft targets’ requiring additional defence protection. Alex Moffatt, head of Cushman and Wakefield Australia data centres advisory team observes that if the technology proven to be stable” enough deliver an operating cost lower than land-bases construction then this would lead to industry uptake. In South Korea, the government announced plans in 2022 for not just an underwater data centre but also an entire underwater mini-city project. South Korea’s underwater project, though a small living project experiment, includes a test of a data centre module.
  • Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) planned to develop a $US30.8 million submarine living and working space off the country’s southeast coast near Ulsan and data centres were part of the plan. Primarily a living space 30m below surface for 5 people to live and work, with one section dedicated to investigating the efficiency of housing data centres underwater. The government funded more than 80 % of the project’s cost with it scheduled to last 5 years and said it chose Ulsan because of its tides, water temperature and stable seabed.
    See: KIOST
  • In the USA, Subsea Cloud is promising to sink data centres down to depths of 3000m below sea level to help prevent hacking attempts but has not progressed to building any centres.
    See: https://www.subseacloud.com
  • China announced in December 2023 that it would embark on the Hainan Undersea Data Centre off the coast of Sanya, in China’s Hainan province to save on energy costs and land. One of China’s underwater data centres being installed.
    See:  New Scientist: China’s first underwater data centre


Image: Data Centre on pontoon from Microsoft website.

 

16. Undersea Cables – Humboldt project

Google recently announced that it will join the Humboldt project to build a 4810 km subsea cable between Chile, French Polynesia and Australia. That cable will, in effect, move Google Cloud under the sea, speeding up the delivery of its services including its own data centre in Quilicura, Chile. The Humboldt Consortium comprises Google, Desarrollo País of Chile and Office of Posts and Telecommunications of French Polynesia (OPT). The Humboldt subsea cable project is an initiative of the Government of Chile, being ambitious to build a direct fiber optic network link South America and the Asia-Pacific region since 2016. This cable will link up the cables making up the South Pacific Connect project with a cable linking Chile and French Polynesia .

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland, “This new cable route will enhance Australia’s global connectivity and complement our work with Pacific countries to secure better access to the global digital economy,

See: https://www.submarinenetworks.com/en/systems/trans-pacific/humboldt-cable
and SBS: Cable between Chile and Sydney


Image: President of Chile and diagram of the Humboldt subsea cable from Chile to Australia which will increase demand for data centres in the region – from Google.

 

17. Central Pier Saga – Movement at last?

Now that this song-running legal dispute between Development Victoria (DV) and former Central Pier lessees has been resolved, we can but hope that DV will now move forward with plans to compensate the Docklands Precinct community and maritime stakeholder of Victoria for the loss of such significant heritage infrastructure asset as Central Pier.

Demolition works are now in progress but, despite multiple consultations, submissions and persistent well-informed advocacy, MMHN is yet to learn of what, and importantly when, a compensatory pier/community maritime asset will be agreed. A reminder that a primary MMHN Objective establishing a Maritime Experience Centre as well as shared community infrastructure such as a theatre and maritime garden on a new floating replacement Central Pier.

See: MMHN: Melbourne Maritime Experience Centre
and The Age: Central Pier tenants settle with government

A reminder of the debacle as the Central Pier Saga commenced.
See: The Age: Fury and disbelief over long awaited decision on Central Pier

 

18. Lessons from maritime conflict in the Red Sea

MMHN and OSSA advocacy around an investment deficit in our maritime capability and our consequent vulnerability is well known. It may or may not be the case but nevertheless alarming to read the claim by journalist Robert Gottliebsen (The Australian (24/1) that “The real reason why Australia did not send a ship to the Red Sea in response to a US request is that it cannot do so. Australia’s fleet of ANZAC frigates was a brilliant investment in the mid-1980, but the first is now 27 years old and is nearing the end of its life. The six conventional submarines are also more than 20 years old, while advances in anti-submarine location technology means the new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines may be outdated by the time they go into service”.

See: The Australian: Red Sea Debacle

 

19. Australian Shipping Organisations

Despite the parlous state of Australian national fleet, there are actually two ‘peak’ shipping organisations:

Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL)

MIAL is peak industry body in Australian shipping the national membership based maritime peak body. MIAL is the voice of Australian maritime. MIAL members collaborate to devise policy and strategy, providing information and intelligence to advocate for the industry as a whole.
See: https://mial.org.au

Shipping Australia

A peak industry body to promote and advance the interests of ship owners and shipping agents in all matters of shipping policy and safe environmentally sustainable ship operations. Shipping Australia’s objectives are to influence government and other bodies to adopt policies that promote and advance the interests of shipowners and shipping agents in all matters of shipping policy, environmentally sustainable practices and safe ship operations.
See: https://www.shippingaustralia.com.au

 

20. Australian Bulker

This has to be THE most totally uninspiring name given to any vessel! As is always World Ship Society folks comprehensively describe each vessel they photograph.

This vessel (which looks smarter than its name might suggests) is described as: a “handysize bulker flagged in Denmark and built in 2017 at the Shikoku Dockyard. This vessel loaded a full cargo of phosphate in Townsville for receivers IPL with discharge at Newcastle, Geelong (13,000mt and discharged at Lascelles over the 12-14/1), Portland, Adelaide and Port Lincoln. She is registered to, beneficially managed and operated by Denmark’s large Lauritzen Group / Lauritzen Bulkers with tech management from Synergy Maritime of India.”


Image: Kevin Finnigan, WSS.

 

21. Complexity of Ship ownership

Perhaps other maritime enthusiasts grapple as I do with multi-layered ship ownership? These links may help.

Marine Traffic – Shipowner vs Charterer
Shipping Australia Associate Members
MIAL Associate Members

 

22. Australian Strategic Fleet

Shipping Australia reports (2/2) Federal Minister Catherine King announcing “work towards establishing Australia’s Maritime Strategic Fleet is underway” stating that Government’s focus has now shifted to implementing the recommendations of the taskforce Strategic Fleet Taskforce. “I expect demonstrable progress towards getting the first vessels in the fleet will be made this year, including the opening of applications to join the strategic fleet, expected mid-year.”

Consultation with vessel operators and unions has commenced seeking views on the fleet, workforce, skills, business impact of requisitioning, and later this year legislative reviews of the Shipping Registration Act 1981 the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 will begin.

 

23. Maritime Skills Deficit

MMHN and OSSA have staunchly advocated deficits in training and employment pathways some of which will be ameliorated to an extent by the strategic fleet but Minister King conceded that t establishing the strategic fleet will not overcome all the barriers to growing the Australian seafaring workforce.

Shipping Australia reports Minister King commenting that as recommended in the Maritime Fleet Strategic Task Force “The Jobs and Skills Council for the Transport and Logistics sector is considering the advice of the taskforce as part of its annual Workforce Plan” and added that “the government has committed to increase monitoring related to the payment of Seagoing Industry Award 2020 Schedule A wages on foreign vessels operating under a Temporary Licence.”

 

24. Port Phillip Sea Pilots (PPSP)

To conclude – MMHN again thanks PPSO for generously hosting a most informative event at their premises late in 2023. The PPSP genuinely values maritime heritage – and their fascinating archival collection reflects this.

At the 2023 event, MMHN member John Warburton had the immense good fortune of winning a marvelous door prize – a trip out on the PPSP pilot launch taking a pilot out to a ship on a splendid calm and sunny day in January. See below.

Note also PPSP have agreed to present to MMHN members again in 2024.


Images: John Warburton – Pilot Launch with Andrew Burn and James Grinter.

 

25. A reminder of two upcoming MMHN Events

19 March 2024: 100th Anniversary of the Royal Navy Special Service Squadron’s visit to Melbourne

20 April 2024: Now you see it, soon you won’t: Heritage Shipping Control Tower, North Wharf, Docklands. On-site visit and discussion.

See our events page for details: https://mmhn.org.au/mmhn-events/

 

Until next time,

Jackie

Dr Jackie Watts OAM
Chair,
Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network