Ships to be safer under reef shipping rules

The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef Darren Jew

THE Federal Government claims a new plan to manage shipping through the Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait and the Coral Sea will put maritime navigation on a safer course.

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said on Tuesday the North East Shipping Management Plan takes into account projected growth in shipping over the next two decades.

He said the plan identified existing, new and strengthened management measures to ensure shipping within the Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait and Coral Sea continued to be conducted to the highest standards possible.

"The Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait and Coral Sea are among the best-protected waters in the world and the government is committed to ensuring these sensitive areas remain safe and secure," he said.

"The North East Shipping Management Plan builds on our existing world-class shipping management to proactively manage risks and further minimise potential environmental impacts.

"The strategy will aid ship safety and the prevention of ship-sourced pollution through a number of proposed measures, including more proactive traffic management services for high-risk shipping areas."

The Vessel Traffic Service monitored almost 11,000 ship movements throughout the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait between 2012 and last year.

There were no incidents recorded during that period.

Topics:  great barrier reef maritime politics shipping

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