OUTGOING Victorian Regional Channels Authority chief executive Michael Harvey says an increased focus on safe navigation at Geelong will be a legacy of his time at the helm.

Mr Harvey, a former Rio Tinto executive, has confirmed his VRCA retirement from 31 July, his role having been publicly advertised in Daily Cargo News.

It marks a period of change for the organisation, with long-serving and respected harbour master Captain Dilip Abraham not having his contract renewed in May.

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“Having led a transformation of the business for the last two-and-a-half-years, the time is right for me to step down and for somebody to take the organisation through the next stage of its evolution,” Mr Harvey said.

Mr Harvey said key achievements were an increased focus on safe navigation, including bringing marine controls in-house (they were previously contracted out).

“The fact that we have looked at how we can improve safe navigation in the port waters that we manage and the projects that we’ve initiated to invest in new assets and new technology to assist us in being able to do that,” he said.

“A month ago we moved into new offices in North Geelong overlooking the channels and the marine controllers for the Port of Geelong sit right next to me in the office.

“So we have a maritime expertise centre now.”

Mr Harvey defended the move to change harbour masters.

“The former harbour master’s contract expired and I felt it the time to get a fresh set of eyes on the challenges that we face.”

 Applications for the role of CEO close this week.

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