As an island nation, Australia has a long and proud maritime tradition and its shipping task is now the fourth largest in the world.
2013 marks the 75th anniversary of the Company of Master Mariners Australia and given the historic revitalization of the Australia shipping industry, there has never been a better time for the Company of Master Mariners to show strong leadership and stewardship for both the profession and the industry as a whole.
To mark this auspicious occasion the Company of Master Mariners will be holding their second national Congress in Melbourne from the 9th-12th April 2013. This Congress will be held in conjunction with the Annual General Assembly of the International Federation of Ship Master Associations attracting some 30 delegates from international associations such as ours. Featuring a conference and exhibition, the Congress will bring together national and international shipping representatives, master mariners , academics, maritime regulatory agencies and port authorities to address best practice in the port and maritime community.
From the crew member and captain aboard a panamax ship sailing through pristine reef, to the harbour master of a major container port, the past 75 years has seen great changes to the demands and necessary skills of those in the maritime industry. Containerisation, globalisation, legislation and the innovations in technology have transformed the watchkeeping role of ensuring the safe navigation of our harbours and channels. New advances in navigation, including e-navigation and bridge resource management, aim to contribute to enhanced maritime safety while also providing the operational benefits of increasing capacity in ports and waterways.
Shipping is a crucial part of the Australian transport system and the safety, efficiency and sustainability of our shipping industry is critical to our economic prosperity. As ships get larger, crew sizes get smaller and waterways get more congested, the importance of consolidating and collectively sharing the industry’s knowledge continues to compound. Bringing together those directly involved in identifying these operational and strategic issues, the Congress is the perfect opportunity to share knowledge and experiences while highlighting the importance of maintaining the necessary skills in both sea and shore-based positions to meet the maritime challenge into the future.
“Approximately $200 billion worth of cargo (is) being moved annually around our ports and 14,000 people are employed at sea or onshore. At the same time, shipping growth in Australia is anticipated to be in the order of 80 per cent over the next decade… the maritime industry is critical to our Nation’s ongoing prosperity, to employment, food security and ensuring that the vital economic arteries of Australia – its shipping lanes and ports – remain open, safe and efficient.”
Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure & Transport, 7 August 2012