DEPUTY Prime Minister and infrastructure minister Michael McCormack has used a site tour in Melbourne to speak of the importance of Australian maritime technology.

Mr McCormack spoke following a visit to OMC International, the business that has pioneered e-navigation technology for big commercial ships.

Mr McCormack visited the Australian maritime engineering company’s Abbotsford base and was shown how its navigation software technology works in practice.

“OMC International is an impressive, family-owned maritime business being used by ports and waterways serving the world’s largest mining, oil, gas and grain companies,” Mr McCormack said. 

“It was fantastic to meet with executive director and founder Dr Terry O’Brien AM, his wife and company director Pauline O’Brien and their son and CEO Peter O’Brien.

“OMC’s advanced under keel management system monitors the under keel clearance of ships in real time which means they can sail up to one metre deeper allowing them to carry significantly more cargo while maintaining the highest safety standards.”

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Last year Daily Cargo News reported how OMC’s under keel clearance management systems was allowing larger ships to transit the treacherous waters of the Torres Strait.

“This impressive technology improves port efficiency and brings huge economic benefits. For example, at ports throughout the Pilbara in Western Australia, the technology has allowed miners including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and FMG to ship out $5 billion in extra iron ore revenue each year,” Mr McCormack said.

Executive director and founder Dr O’Brien AM said it was a great honour for OMC to host the Deputy Prime Minister.

“As maritime safety policy falls within his portfolio, it was an excellent opportunity to provide a live demonstration of the Torres Straits UKCM system,” Dr O’Brien said.

“In doing so, our team was able to demonstrate to Mr McCormack the collaborative and successful journey AMSA and OMC have been on and how this has significantly enhanced both the safety and productivity of shipping through this sensitive area.”

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