||Issue No. 147||09 August 2002|
A Call to Action
Interview: Save Our Souls
Unions: Rats With Wings
Bad Boss: If The Boot Fits
History: Political Bower Birds
International: No More Business as Usual
Corporate: The Seven Deadly Sins of Capitalism
Review: Prepare To Bend
Satire: Bush Boosts Sharemarket Confidence: Shares his Cocaine Stash
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Shipping Policy Blamed for Reef Damage
Maritime Union members involved in the operation say they were horrified at the poor seamanship by Greek masters and his Filipino crew of convenience, some of whom face charges associated with the grounding in World Heritage seas.
"It was obvious to all of us involved in the rescue operation that no-one on board was paying attention," MUA tug crew member Peter Lamond, one of around a dozen MUA salvage crew involved in the emergency response, says.
"They missed the channel and went aground, burying the vessel a good four metres into the reef.".
The MUA was vocal throughout the grounding, warning about the damage the Federal Government policy of opening our coast to more and more substandard ships of shame was causing to our environment.
"Our concerns were valid," says MUA Southern Queensland Branch Secretary Mick Carr.
"Divers, salvage crew and environmentalists have all confirmed the huge wreckage the grounding has done to some 3,500 square metres of coral and marine life. There is now special concern over the affect the anti fouling paint from hull of ship is going to have in the long term. A huge clean up operation is needed."
Carr says that only when there is a pro-active policy for Australian flag shipping can we be certain that the increasing incidences of ship groundings on our reef can be reduced.
"In the meantime Australia is stuck with the clean up operation while the vessel and its owners will escape with token fines. And once again the professionalism of Australian maritime workers response teams has been crucial in the emergency towage operation to free the vessel from the Reef.
"But if the Howard Government had its way we'd have poorly trained guest workers doing this job too."
The Doric Chariot was a Greek Flag vessel with a Filipino crew of convenience and Greek officers. It had sailed from Hay Point, near Mackay, on way to India with a load of coal when the grounding off Cairns occurred.
Towage vessels involved in the operation included Adsteam tug Werra from Townsville with Peter Lamond and four other MUA crew, the Redcliffe out of Brisbane, with four MUA crew, the Otto Assman from Marlyn, South of Cairns, with five MUA crew and the Brighton brought in from PNG.
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