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ANGUS Mitchell is stepping in as the new chief commissioner and CEO of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. He will be leaving his role of general manager at Maritime Safety Queensland.

Mr Mitchell will commence his five-year term on 2 September, succeeding Greg Hood, who retired on 30 June. In the interim, ATSB chief operating officer Colin McNamara will continue as the acting chief commissioner.

Mr McNamara said Mr Mitchell would be the fourth chief commissioner of the ATSB and the first with a maritime industry background.

Mr Mitchell told DCN he was hopeful that his appointment is a recognition of the importance of maritime in the whole transport picture of Australia.

He said he was excited to bring his 30 years of professional experience to influence positive safety action and help the ATSB continue evolving as a global leader in transport safety investigation, research and analysis.

“I have long admired and respected the quality and professionalism of the bureau’s independent no-blame investigation reports,” he said.

“I am looking forward to helping ensure the ATSB continues as a world-leading best-practice safety investigation agency which influences the national and international safety agenda.”

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During Mr Mitchell’s time at MSQ, he oversaw the safe and efficient movement of vessels into and out of Queensland’s 21 ports. He was also responsible for compliance activities and safety investigations for Australia’s largest recreational maritime fleet.

MSQ was recently recognised with an Australian Industry and Shipping Award for its role in managing international shipping throughout the COVID pandemic and supporting the welfare and safety of international seafarers.

Mr Mitchell said MSQ would continue to perform its essential functions under an interim or acting general manager.

“I’m very fortunate that we’ve got a very experienced team,” he said.

“We have a whole range of pivotal work ahead of us, from legislative reform, pilotage reform and managing COVID. MSQ will continue to prosecute those important pieces of work.”

Prior to leading MSQ, Mr Mitchell was the executive director of NSW Maritime, where he oversaw Australia’s largest state’s primary maritime regulatory, investigative and compliance agency.

He has also served as deputy harbour master – operations for Sydney Ports, where he was responsible for managing day-to-day port operations for both Sydney Harbour and Port Botany.

Mr Mitchell also served as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy for 14 years, undertaking operational and policy roles.

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