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Shipping in the Great Barrier Reef

Question
Larissa Waters 23 Dec 2011

Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications Legislation Committee
Answers to questions on notice
Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio
Supplementary Budget Estimates, October 2011

Senator Waters asked:
1. Has GBRMPA provided/ commissioned/ or received any advice on whether additional usage of marine pilots on board ships passing through the reef would reduce risk of incidents threatening the reef? If so, can you please provide a copy.
2. Has GBRMPA provided/ commissioned/ or received any advice on the likely costs to industry of additional pilotage? If so, can you please provide a copy of this advice.
3. Will the VTS extension to the Southern GBRWHA proposed by the Navigation Amendment Act extend VTS beyond ports and to entire inner and/or outer Reef area?
4. What advice has GBRMPA provided to the Minister, or commissioned and/ or received internally on:
a. the projected increased shipping through the reef associated with the LNG and coal export boom
b. the likely impacts/ risks for the reef associated with this shipping?
c. options to deal with the risks associated with this increased shipping?
5. Please provide a copy of any such advice.

Answer:
1. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is responsible for the licensing and safety regulation of coastal pilots in Australian waters. In 2008 the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) received the report "The delivery of coastal pilotage services in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait". The report is available online at: http://www.amsa.gov.au/shipping_safety/marine_orders/CoastalPilotage.asp
2. This issue is the responsibility of AMSA.
3. The Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS) Area, including recent amendments, is shown at Attachment A. The Area extends beyond ports to the outer Great Barrier Reef.
4a. GBRMPA obtains projected increases in shipping from Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) submitted by proponents. Table 1 shows the projected increases in shipping associated with the proposed port expansions.
shipping table

4b. The risks associated with shipping were considered during the preparation of the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 (http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/outlook-for-the-reef/great-barrier-reef-outlook-report).
More recently, GBRMPA has contributed to AMSA oil spill risk assessment which was released on 1 November 2011. The report, titled "Assessment of the Risk of Pollution from Marine Oil Spills in Australian Ports and Waters" was prepared by international risk assessment experts Det Norske Veritas (DNV). The report is available online at: http://www.amsa.gov.au/Marine_Environment_Protection/National_plan/Reports-Fact_Sheets- Brochures/DNVReport.asp
4c. The Great Barrier Reef Shipping Management Group is comprised of AMSA, GBRMPA, Maritime Safety Queensland and the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Transport. This group is currently examining shipping activity in the Great Barrier Reef.
5. Please refer to answers provided in questions 4a, b and c.

Attached Files
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