THE Australian Border Force has launched a new port, harbour and coastal vessel, strengthening its maritime capabilities in Victoria.
The 12.4-metre Philip Island, to be based in Melbourne, is one of several vessels launched across the country to provide the ABF with a greater range and maritime operational capability.
Acting ABF regional commander for Victoria and Tasmania Greg Dowse said the Phillip Island would help ABF officers maintain a strong and continuous presence along the Victorian coast.
“Victorians should expect to see an increased ABF presence in and around Port Phillip Bay as well as along more remote areas of the Victorian coastline,” he said.
“This vessel will support the ABF maritime unit to deploy and respond rapidly to combat border and customs related crimes when they are identified.”
The ABF maritime unit engages in patrols to monitor and combat border threats such as illicit drug, firearm importation and wildlife smuggling.
The vessel is one of 13 new port, harbour and coastal vessels deployed across Australia.
Eight of the vessels, including Phillip Island, have been constructed in Yamba in northern NSW with the other five built in Adelaide.