News & Media

25 June, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 684

ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS INCREASING IN MARITIME TRANSPORT INDUSTRY
Source: Business Korea
Maersk Line, the largest container shipping company in the world, has recently proposed carbon tax imposition on ship fuels in relation to global carbon reduction efforts. “The tax needs to be introduced and US$450 per ton of fuel or US$150 per ton of carbon will be appropriate,” Maersk Line CEO Soren Skou remarked recently. This remark is especially meaningful in that the International Maritime Organization will reach an agreement late this month on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime transport industry. Carbon-related regulations in the industry are scheduled to become effective in January 2023.  FULL STORY 

NATION STATES NEED TO HONOUR OBLIGATIONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS: ICS
Source: Marcus Hand (Seatrade Maritime News)
As world trade continues amidst the Covid-19 pandemic not only shipowners and seafarers need to be held accountable to international conventions, but also States need to honour their obligations as well. This was the message from International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Director of Employment Affairs, Natalie Shaw, speaking at CrewConnect Europe Virtual Event on Monday. “Holding people to account is not just a question of holding shipowners to account, it’s holding everybody to account who is part of that convention.  Certainly, what we’ve experienced is that since the pandemic started a lot of States for one reason or another…  FULL STORY

SAILORS’ SOCIETY’S PLEA TO THE MARITIME INDUSTRY
Source: Dry Cargo International
Charity announces launch of free Wellness at Sea e-learning for all seafarers. The shipping industry must help seafarers now to prevent a mental health catastrophe – that’s the message from international maritime charity Sailors’ Society as the most recent Covid wave threatens a new peak of the crew change crisis. The charity is building a new Wellness at Sea e-learning platform, which it will make available for free to all seafarers around the globe in response to the pandemic. It says companies urgently need to get on board its Wellness at Sea campaign and make crew wellbeing a priority.  FULL STORY

DAY OF THE SEAFARER MEANINGLESS WITHOUT VACCINES AND RESTORED RIGHTS
Source: David W Heindel (ABC News)
This hard-hitting commentary by David W. Heindel, chair of the International Transport Workers' Federation's Seafarers' Section, is a call to action on Day of the Seafarer. Today’s theme for Day of the Seafarer is ‘a future fair for seafarers.' But there is little point contemplating what a fair future looks like for the world’s seafarers while the injustices of the present so loudly demand our attention -– and action. The life of a seafarer has always been one of sacrifice and hard work. Days, weeks, months at sea away from our families in all weather; relied upon to keep the world and its people moving.  FULL STORY

INTERNATIONAL HYDROGRAPHIC BUREAU TURNS 100
Source: Mirage News
The International Hydrographic Bureau has marked its 100th anniversary, with speeches and activities celebrating a century of global collaboration. Hydrography is the branch of applied sciences which deals with the measurement and description of the physical features of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes and rivers, as well as with the prediction of their change over time. This supports safety of navigation and all other marine activities, including economic development, scientific research, and environmental protection. The centenary celebrations on 21 June were hosted in Monaco and included speeches from Prince Albert of Monaco, Dr Matthias Jonas, Secretary General of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) ...  FULL STORY

FREMANTLE PORT AUTHORITY ESCALATES INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE AT KWINANA BULK TERMINAL BY STANDING DOWN WORKERS
Source: Maritime Union of Australia
The Fremantle Port Authority has been accused of significantly escalating an industrial dispute at the Kwinana Bulk Terminal by standing down workers for undertaking legally-protected industrial action, which threatens to cause significant freight delays. The Maritime Union of Australia said Fremantle Ports’ heavy-handed response to limited forms of lawful industrial action had resulted in the Kwinana terminal effectively shutting down for five hours a day, which is already causing delays that have resulted in an iron ore bulk carrier being diverted to another port.  FULL STORY

TROUBLE DOWN UNDER AS MARITIME UNIONS FIGHT ON THREE FRONTS
Source: Handy Shipping Guide
AUSTRALIA – It is a busy time for maritime union interests at the moment with recent protests outside Parliament and the office of the Northern Territory (NT) Chief Health Officer over subjects ranging from the flagging of vessels to the coronavirus outbreak. The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is firstly incensed by the fact that, while 98% of the country’s imports and exports arrive by sea, only 12 Australian flagged and crewed cargo ships still operate. It points out that Australia’s fuel security is even more precarious, with not one Australian registered oil tanker remaining in the fleet.  FULL STORY

NT BULLION SHIPS FIRST IRON ORE FROM FRANCES CREEK
Source: Nickolas Zakharia (Australian Mining News)
NT Bullion has shipped its first batch of iron ore in six years using processed waste materials at the Frances Creek Mine in the Northern Territory. The Frances Creek mine shut down in 2015 due to low iron ore prices at the time. NT Bullion purchased the site from Gold Valley Holdings last year. According to Northern Territory Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison, the restart of shipments will help deliver more local jobs. “We know the Territory is resource rich and that a healthy mining sector will deliver more jobs, significantly boost the economy and keep us on track as the Comeback Capital,” Manison said. “Jobs are critical to Territorians and companies like NT Bullion are well placed to take advantage of the fantastic investment opportunities in the Territory and the record high iron ore.”  FULL STORY

FEEDGRAIN FOCUS: VALUES SOFTEN ON RAIN, OFFSHORE MOVES
Source: Liz Wells (Beef Central)
Widespread rain across much of the Australian grainbelt and softer offshore markets have seen feedgrain prices weaken in the past week. However, continued demand from export coupled with steady buying from domestic consumers has provided support. The nearby spread between wheat and barley in southern Queensland has narrowed further this week to around $15 per tonne, compared with more than $40/t in southern markets. Trade sources across eastern Australia say trucks have become easier to get in the past week, following months of painfully tight logistics.  FULL STORY  

MPS DEMAND ACTION ON PORT LEASED BY CHINA
Source: Daniel McCulloch (Whyalla News)
A group of coalition backbenchers has broken ranks to demand urgent action on a critical port leased by a Chinese company. The Port of Newcastle is half-owned by China Merchants Port Holdings. A group of MPs including Liberal senator Eric Abetz fear the company could use its powers to exploit coal exporters. They want to introduce tougher regulations to guard against punitive costs. "We need to protect our coal exporters," Senator Abetz told 2GB radio on Monday. "Within the communist dictatorship, civil companies are subject to the dictates of the regime." The politicians have signed and sent a joint letter to the prime minister and treasurer calling for action.  FULL STORY

DERAILMENT IMPACTS OPERATIONS ON AUSTRALIAN COAL ROUTE
Source: Laurence Walker (Montel)
Australia’s largest rail freight operator – Aurizon – has suspended operations on a key rail route in coal-rich Central Queensland due to a derailment, sources close to the situation said on Thursday. “The latest advice we have received [is that] recovery activities are underway,” said an Australian coal trader. He noted there was an estimated return to service of 18:00 [Queensland time] on Friday. A spokesperson for Aurizon was not immediately available for comment. But the incident was reported by local media, which said deliveries to the 85m tonnes/year Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal had been impacted, citing Aurizon sources. The trader said he was unsure if all operations along the Goonyella system had been suspended, “but I expect a day delay at most.”  FULL STORY

NEW ZEALAND AGENCIES TO HAVE POWERS TO SECURE MARITIME DOMAIN
Source: Hon Nanala Mahuta (Mirage News)
A Bill introduced to Parliament today aims to prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including transnational offending and organised crime, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Aotearoa New Zealand will be better placed to keep our maritime environment secure against threats like drugs trafficking, wildlife trafficking and human trafficking with the Maritime Powers Bill passed into law,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “This Bill enhances our ability to enforce New Zealand’s criminal law in international waters. It brings a consistency to our domestic arrangements which is currently lacking,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  FULL STORY

WORLD HYDROGRAPHY DAY
Source: Ana Madigibuli (The Fiji Times)
Today is World Hydrography Day which coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) which was formed on June 21, 1921 in Monaco as the International Hydrographic Bureau. The theme for this year’s centennial celebration, “One hundred years of international co-operation in hydrography”, was chosen to highlight 100 years of progress in technological advancement in the field of hydrography since the humble inception of the formal body that oversaw hydrographic survey standards and good governance at the global, regional and national level.  FULL STORY

CELEBRITY CRUISES ADDS DIGITAL LAYER TO HEALTH PRECAUTIONS
Source: Bruce Parkinson (Cruise Radio)
Royal Caribbean Group brand Celebrity Cruises says a new partnership with digital health company Sharecare will help give guests peace of mind, knowing every effort is being made to keep them safe from COVID-19 and other public health outbreaks. Celebrity is implementing the Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED system, which will work to ensure health and safety measures – from employee well-being and safety to onboard sanitization to contactless adaptations for in-room dining – are comprehensive and being closely followed by crew members.  FULL STORY

CARNIVAL POSTS $2 BILLION QUARTERLY LOSS ON PROLONGED CRUISE SUSPENSION
Source: Praveen Paramasivam (Reuters)
Carnival Corp on Thursday reported a quarterly loss of more than $2 billion, as a 15-month-long suspension of voyages due to the COVID-19 pandemic hammered its business. The cruise operator recorded little to no revenue over the last few quarter after a coronavirus outbreak in one of its ships prompted U.S. health regulators to introduce a no-sail order, forcing it to tap billions of dollars in debt and even sell a few ships to stay afloat. Carnival ended the second quarter with $9.3 billion in cash and short-term investments, down from $11.5 billion at the end of the first quarter, as it spent heavily to prepare its ships for voyages as curbs on sailing ease.  FULL STORY

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