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Tuesday, 3 June 2003
Page: 15911


Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 24 October 2002:

(1) How many vessels were on the Australian shipping register in each of the past ten years.

(2) How many of the vessels removed from the Australian shipping register have subsequently been issued with a permit to return to the Australian coastal trade.

(3) Does the use of Flag of Convenience shipping on the Australian coast increase the risk of a maritime security breach; if so, what measures has he taken since 11 September 2001 to mitigate that risk.


Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Australian Register of Ships, maintained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, records:

Year

Number of vessels

2002

8,888

2001

8,735

2000

8,576

1999

8,413

1998

8,246

1997

8,025

1996

7,844

1995

7,632

1994

7,386

1993

7,328

(2) It is difficult to ascertain which vessels that have left the Australian Register of Ships in the last 10 years have subsequently been issued with a coasting trade permit, as vessels which leave the Australian register commonly undergo a change of name when sold overseas, and may undergo a series of name changes if the vessel is re-sold.

(3) The Government is committed to ensuring that the maritime sector functions in the most secure way possible. Ships are required to meet international safety and marine protection standards and foreign crews are subject to migration and customs processes. The Department of Transport and Regional Services is working with industry and State Governments to implement the ISPS code measures in Australia, which are set to enter into force from 1 July 2004.