News & Media

13 December, 2019

Australian Newsletter - Issue 604

PORT CITIES MUST CONNECT TO ENABLE SMARTER SHIPPING PRACTISES OR FACE CLIMATE CRISES ALONE, REVEALS NEW SEA20 STUDY
Source: PortNews
A new study by SEA20 suggests that international collaboration between maritime cities is a political necessity to make shipping more connected and sustainable, and that creating an environmentally friendly maritime infrastructure will in turn become a critical interest for city leaders. Key marine cities are in the process of forming SEA20, a network of cities to lead sustainable maritime development and become the urban voice towards international regulation.  FULL STORY

WHAT WILL BE THE ROLE OF BIOFUELS IN SHIPPING’S DECARBONIZATION?
Source: World maritime News
Biofuels are not likely to become the prevailing zero-carbon solution of choice in the shipping industry’s decarbonization process in the long-term due to many challenges, according to an inquiry commissioned by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI). The report was launched at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP25, in Madrid, on December 11, 2019. Its drafting included desktop literature review, expert stakeholder interviews, face-to-face roundtables, as well as a high-level panel at Climate Week New York.  FULL STORY

CARGO SHIP CAPSIZED, SANK ALONG BERTH, INDONESIA
Source: Mikhail Voytenko (Maritime Bulletin)
Cargo ship KM SHIPPO 16 capsized and sank along berth at Lewobela Port, Lembata island, Banda sea, Indonesia, at around 1815 LT Dec 10. The ship is deployed in Indonesian Government TOL LAUT (Maritime Highway) program, which was launched several years ago to boost sea connectivity and cut shipping costs, and lists more than 100 ships and a number of private owners. No data on KM SHIPPO 16 found.  FULL STORY

ALBANESE SAYS AUSTRALIA SHOULD CONTINUE TO EXPORT COAL
Source: David Crowe (The Sydney Morning Herald)
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has backed the case for Australian coal exports amid a divisive debate on shutting down the trade to act on climate change, arguing it would be wrong to damage the industry and its workers. Mr Albanese said Australia’s priority should be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under strong global agreements but that this would not be achieved by stopping coal exports. The Opposition Leader said other countries would fill the gap left by any halt to Australian coal exports, laying down a key principle amid a climate policy rift between Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon and Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett.  FULL STORY

VALUE OF AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL GOODS TO FALL FOR 3RD STRAIGHT YEAR AMID DROUGHT
Source: Commodity News
Australia on Tuesday said the value of its agricultural goods will fall for the third straight year, a milestone last seen six decades ago, as a drought wilts crops and leaves dams dry. The value of all farm products will total A$61 billion ($41.4 billion) during the 2019/20 season, a fall of about 3% from last season, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said. The impact on rural exports would be even greater with agricultural export earnings to fall 8% to A$45 billion, it added.  FULL STORY

ANT DETECTION DRIVES BIOSECURITY CALL
Source: Aidan Smith (Farm Weekly)
THE number one priority of government, in helping the agricultural sector, is to ensure biosecurity measures are adequate, according to the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA (PGA). PGA president Tony Seabrook said the organisation was often asked what it wanted the Department of Agriculture to do and it always comes back to biosecurity. "Research and development has largely been taken away from government and is done by the Grains Research and Development Corporation and other organisations (such as universities)," Mr Seabrook said.  FULL STORY

BIOSECURITY CHARGE INCREASES AN UNWELCOME CHRISTMAS SURPRISE
By Australian Logistics Council
Today’s announcement of increased biosecurity charges for sea and air freight represents another failure by the Department of Agriculture to consult with industry before announcing cost imposts. “Earlier this year, the Department of Agriculture went to considerable lengths to review its flawed original proposal for a Biosecurity Imports Levy. One of the key findings from that review was that its consultation process with industry was poor,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham. “So it is baffling to see that less than two weeks prior to Christmas, that same Department drops an announcement that biosecurity charges on air and sea cargo will increase by around 15% from 1 January 2020, with no consultation or forewarning to industry. This is not the type of Christmas surprise any business wants or needs.”  FULL STORY

ACCC TAKING TASPORTS TO COURT FOR ALLEGED MISUSE OF MARKET POWER
Source: World Maritime News
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Tasmanian Ports Corporation (TasPorts) for the alleged misuse of market power by the state-owned port owner. According to ACCC, TasPorts, which owns all but one port in northern Tasmania, sought to stop a new entrant, Engage Marine Tasmania from competing effectively with TasPorts’ marine pilotage and towage businesses, with the purpose and likely effect of substantially lessening competition.  FULL STORY

NORTHERN VICTORIA’S ULTIMA FREIGHT TERMINAL OPENS
Source: Imogen Hartmann (Infrastructure)
Victoria’s newest rail freight terminal – the QUBE Ultima Intermodal Terminal is now officially open.
The terminal, which will be used for exporting Victorian Hay to Asia, is expected to remove 4,000 truck trips annually from Victorian roads. Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp, said, “The new Ultima Intermodal Terminal is a great asset for the local community – creating jobs and also moving more freight onto rail.” Hay from local farms is compressed and loaded into containers at the northern Victorian facility. The containers are then put on a train and taken to the Port of Melbourne for export to Asia.  FULL STORY

TRANSPORT OPERATORS FORCED TO PASS PORT COSTS ON TO CUSTOMER
Source: Peter Anderson (Victorian Transport Association)
WITH stevedore infrastructure surcharges more than 40 times higher than they were in 2016, the Port of Melbourne is on track to become the most expensive port in the southern hemisphere, to the inevitable detriment of the Victorian economy. When the Victorian Government leased the Port of Melbourne in 2016, earning itself a $9.7 billion windfall, there was a mixture of hope and scepticism from the transport industry, as a new vision, culture and resource was introduced by the new Lonsdale consortium owners. Privatisation challenged old boundaries and a new environment emerged, which the development and growth of the Port could operate from.  FULL STORY

CONSTANCE WARNS STEVEDORES ON TERMINAL ACCESS CHARGES
Source: Rob McKay (ATN)
Stevedores told to think twice on hikes as Victoria awaits draught report. New South Wales transport minister Andrew Constance has put a shot across the bows of stevedores at Port Botany over their unrestrained terminal access charges. Constance is the first state or federal minister to indicate publicly a significant disquiet at the impact they are having on port users and the container logistics supply chain, including container trucking and rail haulage. He says stevedores at Port Botany have been warned against slapping higher port surcharges on transport operators and exporters who are battling crippling drought in NSW.  FULL STORY

FIRES AND SMOKE CLOSE AUSTRALIA’S PORT BOTANY
Source: Zoe Reynolds (Dredging and Port Construction)
Fires encircling Sydney, choking the city in smoke in recent weeks. Shipping operations at Port Botany container terminal are expected to close again on 10 December, the second time in a week. The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts horrific bushfire conditions with temperature reaching up to 40°C on 10 December. Bushfires in New South Wales (NSW), Queensland, and Victoria burn out of control and clouds of smoke have turned the glaciers of New Zealand pink. On Thursday 5 December, 50 uncontrolled fires merged north of Sydney into a ‘mega fire’ on a 60 km front. The state department of health warned conditions were so hazardous people should stay inside. Schools and university campuses were shut and a hundred dock workers at Port Botany container terminal stopped work.  FULL STORY

RESURGENCE IN DEMAND FROM VIETNAM FOR CATTLE
Source: Matt Dalgleish (Queensland Country Life)
Rising live cattle exports in October saw the monthly flow of live cattle reach its highest point this season at 117,511 head.
This placed live cattle export volumes 21 per cent above the five-year seasonal trend for October. Fuelling the increased flow of Australian live cattle exports in recent months has been a resurgence in demand from Vietnam. From August to October, the flow of Australian live cattle to Vietnam has averaged a 69pc increase on the five-year seasonal pattern.  FULL STORY

NZ GOVERNMENT CLOSE IN ON AUCKLAND
Source: PortsStrategy
The New Zealand government has confirmed its next step in light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations in Auckland are no longer viable. Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones said the government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year. The final report by the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group was released on 12 December. “Shifting Auckland’s Port will be a huge undertaking and, if done right, will have benefits for all of New Zealand, not just Auckland and Northland,” said Mr Jones.  FULL STORY

ROYAL CARIBBEAN PASSENGERS HURT IN NEW ZEALAND VOLCANO ERUPTION: IS THE CRUISE LINE LIABLE?
Source: Leora Arnowitz and Morgan Hines (USA Today)
A volcanic eruption Monday on White Island in New Zealand killed at least six people, left eight others presumed dead and injured many more, leaving police questioning why 47 people – including Royal Caribbean cruise passengers – were on the island that had seen an increase in seismic activity in recent weeks. "We are devastated by today’s events and our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy," Royal Caribbean said in a Monday statement. Several passengers from the Ovation of the Seas ship, which was at the nearby Tauranga port, were touring the island at the time of the 2 p.m. eruption.  FULL STORY

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