MORE than 100 marine pilots and associated personnel from around Australia came together for a workshop to exchange knowledge and ideas.

The event was held this week at NOAH’s on the Beach, overlooking one of Newcastle’s pristine beaches.

Delegates received a broad range of presentations, with discussion touching on several topical industry issues.


After a welcome from Australian Marine Pilots Institute president Neil Farmer, the proceedings began with an address Port Authority of New South Wales chief operations officer, Emma Fensom.

Ms Fensom said the vision of the port authority was “continual improvement of the performance of the safety function”.

“A list of new procedures is simply not enough but a more reliable system is essential,” she said.

Ms Fensom said there was no single “fix”, rather what was required was a “highly reliable port resource management system”.

This includes a whole-of-port view; repeatability; maturity and diversity; emphasising human factors as part of that system such as psychological safety.

“Continual improvement and technological improvement is important as well,” Ms Fensom said.

An example was the escort towage implemented at the Port of Newcastle to manage safely the arrival and departure of loaded tankers.

Following Ms Fensom’s presentation, Captain Scott Clinton, a marine check pilot at Newcastle, explained how and why active escort towage was developed.

Other presentations covered topics such as safety, big data, the shared mental model, AHO charts, the ATSB’s Safety Watch and the New Zealand response to the Watchlist.