MARITIME Industry Australia has launched a document summarising the requirements for moving cargo between states and territories during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to MIAL, the document is, “our best shot at assisting industry understand the operational measures and more importantly how they can move their workforce around the country to where they need them”.

“What we are seeing is states telling marine crews returning home after performing work as essential service workers that they are not ‘essential to our state’ as they worked elsewhere, and therefore must quarantine – increasingly at government directed facilities,” MIAL CEO Teresa Lloyd said.

“Even when there is clarity, the implementation by field officers is a complete lottery resulting in some frontline workers, being sent to quarantine at one or both ends of their journey.”


According to MIAL, there remains the serious issue of crew welfare on board vessels.

“Some jurisdictions are prohibiting crew changes and repatriation and even from setting foot on the wharf to undertake essential shipboard tasks,” MIAL stated.

“These are not reasonable measures for an essential service.  The humanitarian crisis developing for crew members on the cruise ships in our waters is of deep concern to MIAL and urgently requires resolution.”

MIAL is calling for:

  • Greater alignment between the states/NT with respect to measures in place to facilitate essential maritime workers;
  • Greater recognition that if someone is ‘essential’ to work then they are ‘essential’ to return home; and

Greater humanity in the treatment of crews on vessels of all types to ensure they can go home or receive appropriate medical care and clear protocols on same.