MEMBERS of the New South Wales Parliament travelled to Port Botany this week to visit a containership equipped with Australia’s Seafarer Connect Wi-Fi system.

Member for Coogee Marjorie O’Neill, member for Maroubra Michael Daley, member for Swansea Yasmin Catley and Mark Buttigieg MLC spoke with the seafarers to learn about the value of connectivity system.

The crew comprised Sri Lankan, Indian and Filipino seafarers. They told MPs they had been using the Seafarer Connect service to stay in touch with home, catch up on world news and unwind.

The Seafarer Connect initiative involves delivering a portable device in a ruggedised case to ships docked in Australian ports.

The device is designed to provide free Wi-Fi on board vessels for the duration of their visits.

Seafarer Connect project manager Bernie Farrelly said the initiative is a simple concept, but it makes a difference to the lives of crews while they are in Australian ports.

“The importance of being able to make a phone or video call home via fast, reliable and free WiFi was highlighted for the MPs whose electorates border the massive Botany seaport,” Mr Farrelly said.

Ms O’Neill said the project was critical for ensuring workers can stay in touch with loved ones.

“Thank you for making a difference to these workers’ lives,” she said in a social media post.

Seafarer Connect said the Wi-Fi unit will be discharged by terminal workers as the ship prepares to leave Port Botany, and redeployed on the next visiting ship.

Seafarer Connect devices are also offered at port of Port Kembla, Newcastle, Melbourne, Albany, Geraldton, Kwinana, Port Hedland and Brisbane.