Inside the Townsville VTS centre
Having participated in Spillcon 2023 in Brisbane, Australia earlier in the week, the IOPC Funds’ Director, Gaute Sivertsen, and Senior Claims Manager, Chiara Della Mea, were invited to visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) in Townsville on 15 September 2023.
They met with General Manager of the Marine Park Operations Branch, Richard Quincey, who gave an overview of the work of the GBRMPA, its role in the management of the Great Barrier Reef and, importantly, its work with the Australian Maritime and Safety Authority (AMSA) and the Queensland Government on preparedness and response in the event of a pollution incident. In return, Mr Sivertsen gave a short presentation on the role of the IOPC Funds and the compensation available under the international liability and compensation regime in the event of such an incident.
On Monday 18 September, Mr Sivertsen and Ms Della Mea took the opportunity to visit the Townsville Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Services Centre, where they met with Acting Manager, Robin Kerr.
They were shown how the VTS centre works, and how the centre operates in conjunction with AMSA and the Queensland authorities. Mr Sivertsen briefly explained the role of the IOPC Funds and how it would also work with AMSA and the relevant authorities in the event of a pollution incident.
It was a pleasure for the Director to be able to visit both the GBRMPA and the Townsville Torres Strait VTS Centre whilst in the country. The local and national authorities and maritime centres of Member States can play a pivotal role in the event of a major incident.