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Committee

New offshore tug to boost environment protection for the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait

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.

The Cairns 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.

A permanent emergency towage vessel is a great boost to environmental protection measures 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).

Australian 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.

   

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