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Joint media release: Northern Territory Marine Safety Initiative Underway

Tuesday 28 July 2015
In an exciting first for Indigenous boat owners and operators, the Northern Territory and Australian Governments are working together to implement the Northern Territory Indigenous Maritime Safety Initiative (NTIMSI).
Media Release

The project will educate and support small boat operators in some of the Territory’s most remote communities, and complement recent changes to laws relating to recreational boating in the NT.

The NTIMSI is managed by the Northern Territory Department of Transport - Marine Safety Branch and supported by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

The project includes a range of safety information including magazine and radio advertising, community posters, safety checklists and stickers.

The project also provides Grab Bags containing safety equipment like emergency beacons and flares, which can be loaned free of charge to Indigenous boat operators undertaking open water voyages.

The project will be rolled out over the coming year in partnership with local communities.

Northern Territory Department of Transport Principal Marine Safety Officer, Sri Srinivas said the project is a great example of the Northern Territory and Federal Governments working together to improve boating safety in the top end.

“The NT Government and the Australian Government share the same goal – to improve safety in indigenous communities,” said Mr Srinivas.

To help ensure the key messages of the project are heard and understood, there has been wide consultation with indigenous owners, operators and representative groups, as well as maritime authorities and local government.

Key elements of the NTIMSI are based on the successful Torres Strait Marine Safety Program (TSMSP) which has been running since 2007.

The TSMSP has resulted in a 70% reduction in serious marine incidents in the Torres Strait region.

AMSA Indigenous Maritime Program Manager, Adrian Davidson, said the reduction in serious marine incidents had been dramatic since the program began in the Torres Strait.

“The Torres Strait program has improved marine safety and we hope to achieve the same outcomes in the remote coastal communities of the Northern Territory,” said Mr Davidson.

Over the next two months officers from the NT Marine Safety Branch and AMSA will be travelling to many remote Indigenous communities across Arnhem Land, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Daly River.

NT Nautical Officer Bradley Thomson, who will be leading the trip, said bringing boating safety messages to these remote communities, is extremely important.

“These are very remote coastal areas, often subject to large tides, strong winds and seasonal changes, which combine to make small boat travel quite challenging at times,” said Mr Thomson.

“This project will help those operators that need it the most.”

Members of the public who want more information on the Northern Territory Marine Safety Initiative, the NT Marine Safety branch can be contacted at (08) 8924 7100, by emailing marinesafety@nt.gov.au or in person at Level 2, Energy House, Cavenagh Street, Darwin.

Media Enquiries:
AMSA Media - 1300 624 633