Home' Ausmarine : August 2009 Contents NEWS
Llew Russell, the Chief Executive
Officer of Shipping Australia said that
he was shocked at the announcement
made by Australian Federal Minister
Anthony Albanese and the Premier of
Queensland, Anna Bligh, that Hong
Kong-based Swire Shipping should
pay all the clean-up costs as a result of
the oil spill involving its vessel, the
"Australia is a party to the Convention
on Limitation of Liability for Maritime
Claims 1976, and there have been a
number of subsequent amending
protocols adopted by Australia," said Mr
Russell. "In other words, the company is
meeting its full responsibility under that
convention and in fact the ship's
insurance has already provided financial
security for up to $20 million and the
company provided even on top of that $2
million of assistance with the cleanup,"
said Mr Russell.
Some 230 tonnes of fuel oil, 30 tonnes
of other fuel, and 31 containers of
ammonium nitrate spilled into the Coral
Sea on March 11 during Cyclone Hamish.
In the ensuing days, the oil washed ashore
over 60km of coastline along the Sunshine
Coast, Moreton Bay, Moreton Island and
The Queensland and Australian Federal
Governments both demanded that Swire
pay the full costs relating to the 'Pacific
Adventurer' oil spill. Queensland Premier
Anna Bligh said that Queensland was not
responsible for the oil spill and would not
pay the $34.5 million clean up cost.
"The nature of shipping operations is
such that potential liabilities that may be
incurred are out of all proportion to what
a shipowner must invest in the enterprise.
Even a small trading vessel could be
carrying sufficient bunker fuel to cause
environmental harm and necessitate a
clean-up to a value many times the value
of the ship.
"The real question is how do you
insure against an unidentifiable risk which
could range up to many hundreds of
millions of dollars?"
Mr Russell pointed out that despite
some media comments, Swire has never
officially agreed to pay above the cap as
required under Australian law and
promised to meet its full responsibilities
under that law for this clean-up which
was caused by such a terrible accident.
"Australia has also been at the
forefront of impressing upon other
countries the need to adhere to
international conventions and has been
eager to adopt many of the conventions
in terms of its own national law but in
cases such as this it simply throws the
convention out the door.
"We will certainly be raising this
internationally and it will be very
interesting to see the reaction of the
International Maritime Organisation. If
Australia ignores the application of this
convention then insurance costs for ships
trading to and from Australia will
skyrocket if one can obtain insurance at
all for what in effect would be an
uninsurable risk," Mr Russell said.
SAL Chief backs Swire Shipping on spill clean-up
Llew Russell, CEO Shipping Australia
The Queensland Maritime Museum is
holding a raffle to help raise funds
necessary for the upkeep of the museum.
The fundraiser is scheduled to be
drawn on World Maritime Day, celebrated
in Queensland on September 25, and will
cost $5 per ticket.
The first prize, an antique lamp
donated by Maritime Safety Queensland
for the purposes of running the raffle, is
also part of the organisation's support for
Queensland's 150th anniversary of
independence from New South Wales on
The second prize consists of books
donated by Queensland Maritime
Museum's CEO, Ian Jempson, titled,
"Lighthouses of Australia", and will be
distributed to five runners up.
"To fund our existence we have
to raise money, and we do so by
charging visitors entry into the museum,
leasing out the site for functions
and events, selling memorabilia in our
gift shop, and, of course, taking
donations from people and companies,"
said Mr Jempson. "Our target is to
The purpose of this raffle is to assist in
the refurbishment of lightship 'Carpentaria',
which has been at the museum for about 20
years. The vessel, previously positioned in
Carpentaria Shale in the Torres Strait, was
built in 1917 and was eventually withdrawn
from service in 1980.
The Queensland Maritime Museum
holds large collections of historical
maritime artefacts, documents,
photographs and books, which include
the World War Two, ex- Royal Australian
Navy frigate 'Diamantina', as well as 50
The museum is also the caretaker of the
South Brisbane Drydock.CAROLINE ZIELINSKI
Queensland Maritime Museum sets up raffle to restore lightship
Photo: Queensland Maritime Museum
This antique lamp will be first prize in the
museum's fundraising raffle
August 2009 AUSMARINE
Links Archive July 2009 September 2009 Navigation Previous Page Next Page