News & Media

23 July, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 688

IMO WELCOMES WHO VACCINE ROADMAP SEAFARER PRIORITIZATION
Source: IMO.org
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the World Health Organization's decision to name seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers that should be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination in instances of limited supplies. The updated guidance for Stage II of its vaccine roadmap from the WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) states: "Seafarers and air crews who work on vessels that carry goods and no passengers, with special attention to seafarers who are stranded at sea and prevented from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions."  FULL STORY  

SHIPPING INDUSTRY TO PAY FOR POLLUTION UNDER NEW EU PROPOSALS
Source: Pippa Neill (EnvironmentJournal.online)
New EU proposals will make the shipping industry pay for pollution and fossil fuels use. Under the proposed Maritime Emissions Trading System (ETS), shipping companies will have to buy carbon credits for their pollution on voyages within Europe and for 50% of their emissions when travelling between EU and non-EU ports. Faig Abbasov, shipping programme director at campaign group Transport & Environment, said: ‘The EU is finally making shipping polluters pay. Now lawmakers need to defend a carbon market that covers extra-European voyages so that the biggest shipping companies are not let off the hook.  FULL STORY

JAPAN’S CLEAN ENERGY PUSH A THREAT TO AUSTRALIAN COAL, LNG EXPORTS
Source: Nick Toscano and Mike Foley (SMH.com.au)
Australia’s gas and coal producers are facing greater uncertainty in their top market as Japan drafts new targets to slash demand for the two fossil fuels by 2030. In a draft report released this week, Japan’s government said it expected non-fossil fuel power supply sources to account for roughly 60 per cent of the country’s energy mix within the next nine years, while coal is forecast to fall by 40 per cent and liquefied natural gas (LNG) will nearly halve. The shift challenges the outlook for Australia’s coal and gas industries as well as government coffers, which rely heavily on revenue from the two fossil fuels that rank among the country’s most valuable exports.  FULL STORY

BHP RECORDS BIGGEST YEAR OF IRON ORE EXPORTS AS PRICES BOOM
Source: Nick Toscano (SMH.com.au)
Australian miner BHP shipped a record amount of iron ore over the past year as the steel-making ingredient traded at an all-time high, but questions loom about how long the boom will last. The nation’s top miner on Tuesday revealed it had produced 73.7 million tonnes of iron ore in the three months to June 30; about 4 per cent less than the same time last year, as labour shortages, COVID-19 travel restrictions and bad weather hit its operations in Western Australia. Still, the volume brought BHP’s full-year iron ore output to within the top end of its target range at 284.1 million tonnes. The result was in line with the company’s target of between 276 and 286 million tonnes for the year.  FULL STORY

NEWCASTLE PORT TO PLAY CRITICAL ROLE IN AUSTRALIA’S FUEL SECURITY
Source: April Shepherd (InfrastructureMagazine.com.au)
The Federal Government has announced a $260 million diesel storage investment to boost Australia’s fuel reserves and support fuel security – with the Port of Newcastle playing a key role in fuel storage. The investment is part of the Boosting Australia’s Diesel Storage program and is a key part of the Government’s comprehensive fuel security package – announced in the 2020-21 Budget, promoting job growth and fuel security. Port of Newcastle CEO, Craig Carmody said, “Port of Newcastle is thrilled it will play a vital role in boosting Australia’s fuel reserves following the Federal Government’s announcement of a $260 million package to boost long-term fuel security across the country.”  FULL STORY

RIVAL CONTAINER PORT AT NEWCASTLE DEEMED ‘FANCIFUL’
Source: Jenny Wiggins (AFR.com.au)
The Port of Newcastle’s hopes of building a container terminal before Port Botany reaches capacity by 2030 are “far-fetched and fanciful,” a Federal Court justice has declared in a judgement against the competition watchdog. The Federal Court on Tuesday released the judgement of Justice Jayne Jagot on a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against NSW Ports. The ACCC took the NSW Ports consortium, which operates Port Botany and Port Kembla, to court in 2018, alleging deeds in the ports’ sale agreement were “anti-competitive and illegal”, but the Federal Court dismissed the case in June.  FULL STORY

PORTS BOSS FIGHTS BACK
Source: PortStrategy.com
An Australian port boss has hit back against a court’s conclusion that building a container terminal is not a “real possibility”. Craig Carmody, CEO of the Port of Newcastle, spoke following the Federal Court’s dismissal of proceedings regarding Port Commitment Deeds that the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) have said are “anti-competitive and illegal”. However, in a media statement following the ruling, NSW Ports, which manages Port Botany and Port Kembla, highlighted Justice Jayne Jagot’s observation that the prospect of Port of Newcastle developing a container terminal in the reasonably foreseeable future while Port Botany has capacity "is fanciful".  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN UNION AGREES TO ENFORCE TEN-YEAR STRIKE BAN AT MELBOURNE PORT
Source: Terry Cook (WSWS.org)
Over recent weeks the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has brokered new enterprise agreements (EAs) with major stevedoring companies across a number of Australian ports. The agreement that most glaringly encapsulates the MUA’s decades-long drive to incorporate itself ever deeper into management structures and cement its position as an industrial police force for the stevedoring employers is the four-year deal it brokered with Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT). As part of the VICT agreement, the MUA has agreed to enforce a ten-year ban on “illegal” industrial action at the facility in exchange for the company dropping an $80 million damages claim against the union that arose from its picketing of the Webb Dock terminal in 2017.  FULL STORY

VITERRA’S PORT LINCOLN, THEVENARD DENIED CODE EXEMPTION
Source: GrainCentral.com
THE Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has determined not to exempt the services provided by Viterra at its Port Lincoln and Thevenard facilities from parts of the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code. The decision means that Viterra will continue to be subject to the non-discrimination requirements of the code at its Port Lincoln and Thevenard terminals, and must also provide access-related dispute resolution processes for exporters. Viterra will also continue to require ACCC approval for any changes made to its capacity allocation systems, and must publish certain information about expected capacity and bulk grain stocks held at these port terminals.  FULL STORY

TWIST IN IRON ORE PORT WARS
Source: Brad Thompson (AFR.com)
Chris Ellison’s Mineral Resources is getting a taste of its own medicine as iron ore miner GWR Group and other junior companies push to use the Port of Esperance on WA’s south coast. Mineral Resources enjoys a monopoly on iron ore exports from Esperance in the wake of the WA’s Labor government supporting its acquisition of Cleveland-Cliffs’ Koolyanobbing iron ore operations three years ago. GWR, one of a small band of new iron ore players cashing in on sky-high prices for the steel-making ingredient, claims other users have been shut out of the port. The campaign to open up Esperance comes as the WA government continues to delay a decision on Mineral Resources’ plans to take on bigger rivals BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill by building two new berths at iron ore export epicentre Port Hedland on the state’s Pilbara coast.  FULL STORY

EIGHT CREW MEMBERS FROM CARGO SHIP OFF WA TEST POSITIVE TO COVID AS SA TRAVEL ADVICE UPDATED
Source: Rhiannon Shine (ABC.net.au)
All eight symptomatic crew members from a cargo ship docked at Fremantle in Western Australia have tested positive for COVID-19. The WA Department of Health said in a statement the remaining six crew on board the BBC California, who were not symptomatic, would now be tested for COVID-19 on Monday afternoon. They will also receive serology tests to see if they have previously had the virus. The BBC California, which departed Indonesia last week, has 14 crew members aboard.  FULL STORY

MATTINA CONTAINER SHIP: ANOTHER COVID SHIP SCARE FOR WA
Source: Josh Zimmerman and Briana Fiore (PerthNow.com.au)
Premier Mark McGowan is considering measures to prevent cargo ships transiting through Indonesia on their way to WA after the third COVID-infected vessel in the space of three weeks was identified. Health authorities are scrambling to interview two dozen port workers who may have come into contact with mariners from container ship Mattina, which docked at Fremantle Port between July 10 and 12. Mattina then sailed on to New Zealand, where two crew tested positive to the virus on Monday before that number spiked to nine Tuesday.  FULL STORY

COVID-19 INFECTED MARINERS LEAVE LYTTELTON PORT FOR MIQ
Source: Cate Broughton and Steven Walton (Stuff.co.nz)
A fishing vessel carrying 16 mariners with Covid-19 has arrived in Lyttelton Port and 13 of the crew have been taken to a Christchurch managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ). About three Lyttelton Port water siders met the ship just before 9am on Sunday, wearing full PPE including masks and shields. A tent had been erected and two buses were waiting dockside. New Zealand Defence Force personnel and health officials wore masks and gloves. Two doctors from the border testing service were present, along with three staff from the local health board's infection prevention and control team.  FULL STORY

INVESTMENT NOT EXPANSION
Source: PortStrategy.com
A New Zealand port is investing in container handling, but insists this is not linked to expansion.
Northport will invest NZ$8m in infrastructure needed to support the growth of container traffic through the port. The investment comes as Northport and fellow ports in New Zealand are under scrutiny following a 2019 report that recommended the closure of Ports of Auckland (POAL) and the development of Northport. “This investment demonstrates our commitment to growing container traffic through Northport to service the trade needs of both our region and north Auckland,” said chief executive Jon Moore. “It’s a solid vote of confidence in the potential for significant and continued economic growth around our region and across the Upper North Island.”  FULL STORY

COVID-19: TWO MARINERS ON QUARANTINED SHIP AT BLUFF TEST POSITIVE, PORT WORKERS MOVEMENTS BEING INVESTIGATED
Source: Brittney Deguara Louisa Steyl (Stuff.co.nz)
Two mariners onboard a quarantined container ship at Bluff have tested positive for Covid-19, the Ministry of Health says. The Mattina container ship arrived at port on Sunday night, with all 21 crew undergoing testing on Monday morning. The ministry said rapid tests were ordered for two symptomatic crew members on board, while the test results for the remaining crew were still pending. They were expected back on Monday night or Tuesday morning. Health officials said the condition of the two symptomatic cases was "improving". Officials were also investigating a port worker who guided the vessel into port on Sunday night had any contact with crew members, a ministry spokesperson said.  FULL STORY

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