Improving response to marine pollution emergencies
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has released a Request For Tender for a level-two emergency towage contract which will come into effect in June next year.
While the safety standards of commercial shipping have steadily improved, internal experience has shown that a single major pollution incident can result in huge losses, not only to the marine environment, but also to coastal communities, and recreational and commercial activities.
Under the contract, suitably equipped tugs will be required to respond at short notice to perform first strike emergency towage services in the event of shipping incidents or casualties.
A harbour-tug provider in each of the ten regions around Australia may be contracted to maintain that capability.
Two new regions have been added, reflecting the massive growth in shipping in central Queensland and south-western Australia.
With these available resources, AMSA will be able to continue to remove, or at least significantly reduce, the threat of pollution through greater coverage of the Australian coast.