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Bringing together military and civilian mariners.



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THE HON. ANTHONY ALBANESE MP Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

www.defence.gov.au

Friday, 28 November 2008 187/2008

BRINGING TOGETHER MILITARY AND CIVILIAN MARINERS

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, and Minister for Defence, Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, today announced a landmark agreement which will enable easier transfer between the civilian and military life at sea.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have agreed to recognise equivalent qualifications, providing a wider range of career opportunities for both RAN Seaman officers and their civilian counterparts.

“With appropriate bridging courses, naval officers are now able to obtain the competencies required for certification to master civilian vessels - an important outcome at a time when the local maritime industry is facing the challenges of an ageing workforce,” Mr Albanese said.

“Conversely, the qualifications of civilian mariners would be more easily recognised by Navy, providing career opportunities in the service of their country.”

Mr Snowdon said mutual recognition of qualifications has long been raised as an issue within Navy.

“Navy provides excellent training opportunities and experience, which would serve a sailor well in any maritime career,” Mr Snowdon said.

“This initiative not only enhances the desirability of being a RAN Seaman officer, but it potentially creates a greater pool of mariners who may like to sample life on a patrol boat or frigate, even as reservists.”

The agreement enables joint recognition of the qualifications gained by RAN Seaman Officers towards an internationally recognised certificate of competency issued under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978, As Amended (STCW).

It recognises the RAN’s commitment to high training standards and outlines the training pathway that Naval officers are able to undertake in order to gain AMSA issued STCW civilian qualifications.

Media contacts: Jeff Singleton (Mr Albanese) 0410 476 890

Kate Sieper (Mr Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689

Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664