A VESSEL owner who unleashed “an expletive laden tirade” upon an AMSA inspector has been fined $750.
In Cairns Magistrates Court this week, Anthony Roy Wolfe, the owner of MV Wallaroo, was convicted of hindering a Commonwealth public official.
AMSA described the MV Wallaroo as an unseaworthy, ex-navy tug boat.
The inspection of Wallaroo in Brisbane revealed serious deficiencies with watertight hatches, defunct firefighting equipment and no life raft on the vessel.
According to AMSA, at the time of the incident, Wolfe planned on using Wallaroo to transport shipping containers from Cairns to Papua New Guinea.
However, the ship was detained under the Navigation Act for unseaworthiness.
According to AMSA, during the inspection, Wolfe “became aggressive and engaged in an expletive laden tirade forcing the inspector off the vessel”.
“He also hindered him in the course of his duties,” AMSA stated.
Mr Wolfe was found guilty, with a conviction recorded on his criminal record for the next ten years and fined $750 for hindering an AMSA inspector.
General manager of operations Allan Schwartz said AMSA would not tolerate violence or threats of violence.
“Our inspectors work every day to make the seas a safer place to work and to protect Australia’s precious marine environments from the impacts of shipping and unseaworthy vessels like Wallaroo,” Mr Schwartz said.
“Our inspectors serve the Australian community, in particular the coastal towns and tourism hubs like Cairns which depend on the sea for their livelihoods.
“Mr Wolfe’s criminal conviction should serve as a reminder that the Australian community and AMSA will not tolerate this kind of vile behaviour.”
Wolfe has had previous brushes with authorities, including in November 2003 when his barge Karma grounded off Agnes Waters, resulting in a Queensland court sentencing him to six months behind bars.
He previously spent nine months in jail in 2002 for illegally stock-piling drums of chemical waste on his property at Gracemere, near Rockhampton. And in 2001 he landed himself in strife when one of his boats sank in the Fitzroy River, releasing waste oil barrels into the waterway.