Australian Government Minister
for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss, announced a $137
million, eight-year contract for a powerful new ocean-going vessel
to be permanently located in the northern Great Barrier Reef and
Torres Strait area.
based vessel will be used primarily for emergency towage of ships
as well as for overall maintenance and construction services
for Australia's national marine aids to navigation network.
emergency towage vessel is a great boost to environmental protection
in this highly-sensitive region. There
are currently no port based tugs capable of emergency towage services
in the northern Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait.
The new offshore
tug will be available for towage operations in the case of a
shipping emergency, greatly reducing the risk of pollution
from such an incident. Utilising this tug will avoid a delay
of several days before a tug could respond from southern ports.
Following a competitive
process, Brisbane based company, Australian Maritime Systems
Limited had been awarded the contract to provide
the dedicated emergency towage vessel. The vessel will operate
under the direction of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
Maritime Systems Limited will work with Swire Pacific Offshore
in providing the contract services services and was commissioned
on 30 August 2006 by the Federal Minister for Transport and Regional
Services, Mr Warren Truss.