Brad Groves:China-Australia Maritime Cooperation is Steady

Aug 3, 2016

Brad Groves:China-Australia Maritime Cooperation is Steady

Recently, the CNSS reporter had a chance to interview Brad Groves, General manager of Navigation Safety & International Division, Australian Maritime Safety Authority. They discussed deeply about the shipping industry in Australia, the maritime cooperation between China and Australia, the port state control in Australia and the maritime labor market in Australia.

Australia is the only country in the world, that consists of an entire continent. The coastline of Australia is 37,000km. The main ports in Australia are Adelaide, Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney. Australia mainly exports minerals, animal product and precious metals.

Talking about the Australian shipping industry, Mr. Groves said: The Australian shipping industry is a very small industry. For Australia, most of our exports are carried by foreign ships, and the proportion is 98% or possibly 99%. Therefore, our national flag ships are very small in number. Actually, Australia provides two shipping registers. Mr. Groves said: We have an Australian shipping register named international Australian shipping register. We don’t have any ships on that register yet. So we are working on making sure we get some more ships on to the Australian flag.

The China-Australia maritime cooperation is very close. In April, Mr. Mick Kinley, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, visited China. Chen Aiping (then Director General of Maritime Safety Administration of the People’s Republic of China), and Sun Feng (Vice President of China Classification Society) held talks with Mr. Kinley. During the talks, both sides discussed maritime cooperation between two countries in-depth.

With regard to maritime cooperation, Australia cooperates very closely with China, Mr. Groves said. Australian Maritime Safety Authority has a memorandum of understanding with China MSA. We also have an agreement with China Classifications Society. We assist the China Classifications Society by participating in annual workshops. We talk about port state control and ship operations. In recent leadership meetings, both sides indicated that China and Australia should carry out broader and deeper cooperation.

Statistics shows that, Australian exports to China accounted for 33.8% of Total Australian exports in 2014. Australian imports from China accounted for 20.5% of Total Australian imports in 2014. China is the one of biggest trading partner of Australia. In 2015, there was around 118 Chinese flagged ships making 43 visits to Australian ports. Mr. Groves said Chinese vessels have got a good history, when it comes to visiting Australian ports.

About the port state control in Australia, the detention rate for Chinese vessels is about 2.2 percent, but our normal overall detention rate is about 7%. So, Chinese vessels have a good history. Mr. Groves said. Then, Mr Groves added his advice to any ship that comes to Australia. Making sure the basic, the fundamental things are working. Like the fire pump, the lifeboat, the fire alarm, the crew are all well qualified, the safety management system is working and the vessel complies with the Maritime Labour Convention.

MarineHR project launched by CNSS debuted in International Conference on Seafarers and Service in July. The project has aspirations to become the best base camp for shipping talents. The well designed model of recruiting will subvert traditional model. Experienced development team is the foundation to make MarineHR become the top shipping recruitment platform in the world.

Mr. Groves spoke highly of MarineHR after the introduction. China is supplying the most seafarers in the world. China already overtaken the Philippines in terms of the number of seafarers, Mr. Groves said. I guess you must need a system to manage that. But for an Australian shipping company, they will normally not go through an agency but employ directly. They’re usually not recruiting seafarers through an agency. If there’s an online system then this can allow applications, then there’s no problem.

Afterwards, the reporter asked for the Australian policy about seafarer management. Mr. Groves added, for Australian flag ships, they must employ Australian seafarers, or a seafarer with a certificate of recognition issued by Australia. This is the issue under the STCW convention.

The global economy recovers slowly, as well as the shipping industry. The China-Australia maritime cooperation will be more and more steady. This is one of the main foundations for the development of shipping industry and trade industry in both countries. In the end of this interview, Mr. Groves expressed his best wishes to MarineHR and the China-Australia maritime cooperation.

Source from : CNSS