THE Australian government has today announced three appointments to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Board, to further boost the Authority’s skill and expertise.

Dr Rosalie Balkin AO and Tony Briggs are the two new AMSA Board appointments to serve their first three-year terms.

Peter Toohey has been re-appointed for his second three-year term after his initial appointment in June 2015.

Dr Balkin (who was profiled in Daily Cargo News earlier in the year) is currently Secretary General of the Comité Maritime International and was previously director of legal affairs and external relations at the International Maritime Organization.

Mr Briggs is the founder, former managing director and a current board member of Coral Expeditions cruise line and also serves on the board of directors of the Shipowners’ Protection and Indemnity Association of Luxembourg.

Mr Toohey has a background in maritime salvage operations and is currently chief engineer of Brisbane Tugs for Svitzer Australia and secretary of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers.

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Deputy Prime Minister and infrastructure minister Michael McCormack said AMSA performed a critical role protecting the marine environment while supporting safe navigation and marine safety.

“The appointments of Dr Rosalie Balkin AO and Mr Tony Briggs, as well as the reappointment of Mr Peter Toohey, will ensure the AMSA Board has the knowledge, skills and experience to support its ongoing successful management of strategic maritime priorities,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr McCormack said Mr Briggs and Mr Toohey both brought substantial experience across different sectors of Australia’s domestic commercial vessel industries.

He said Dr Balkin would bring considerable legal knowledge to the AMSA Board, including maritime law.

“I am sure Dr Balkin, Mr Briggs and Mr Toohey will provide invaluable contributions to the AMSA Board throughout their three-year terms, helping maintain Australia’s maritime safety and environmental protection capabilities in line with international best practice,” Mr McCormack said.

AMSA chair Stuart Richey AM said he was delighted to welcome Dr Balkin and Mr Briggs to the AMSA Board as well as Mr Toohey’s return.

“These appointments add to the Board’s capabilities with significant expertise in maritime law and the operation of domestic commercial vessels to support our priorities such as the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety,” Mr Richey said.

He noted the appointment of Dr Balkin would fill the void in maritime legal knowledge following the departure of Sarah Derrington who has been appointed to the Federal Court.

“I look forward to working together to ensure AMSA continues to be well positioned into the future.”

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