A CALL to relocate the national maritime regulator to Tasmania has received a cool reception from industry.
The call to shift the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to the south side of Bass Strait came from Liberal Senator for Tasmania, Johnathon Duniam and was picked up by state infrastructure minister Rene Hidding.
In a press release entitled Tasmania, the natural home of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Mr Hidding welcomed Senator Duniam’s proposal.
“We are the home of the Australian Maritime College, a strong commercial fishing sector, a booming aquaculture industry with a very large fleet and a renowned ship and boat-building industry,” Mr Hidding said.
“While the transition to a national system commenced six years ago, I have argued for a better deal for Tasmania at every national Ministerial Council since becoming the Minister in 2014 and have maintained this stance in direct negotiations with senior executives of AMSA.
“I commend Senator Duniam for joining our effort and the Tasmanian Government fully endorses Tasmania as the natural home of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.”
But asked if AMSA should shift to the south side of Bass Strait, Shipping Australia CEO Rod Nairn responded with a one word statement: “no”.
A spokesman for the MUA said the Union didn’t have a position on the issue while Ports Australia declined to comment.
But Maritime Industry Australia Ltd chief executive, Teresa Lloyd, was more forthcoming albeit opposed.
“MIAL does not think that AMSA should move to Launceston, or to any other regional city.
“As a national (and international) regulator, it is imperative that AMSA head office remain accessible to the greatest number of industry participants,” Ms Lloyd said.
“Moving AMSA to a location that is even more inaccessible than Canberra to a great majority of the industry would result in a chasm developing between the regulator and the industry.
“The current habit of various politicians ‘claiming’ AMSA is unsettling and destabilising. Instead of moving them, our leaders would be better to focus their efforts to ensure AMSA are properly resourced and supported to do their job as the national regulator”.