New shipping fairways being progressively introduced in August 2012 off the coasts of NW Australia.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese recently announced the fairways saying commercial shipping was vital to Australia’s economy and with industrial and mining activity on the increase in Western Australia, so too was shipping.
“For busy shipping routes, it’s important we continue to increase navigational safety and reduce the risk of ship groundings and collisions,” Mr Albanese said. “That is exactly what the new network of Shipping Fairways will do. Together, they will reduce the risk of collision by directing large vessels such as bulk carriers and LNG ships into pre-defined routes to keep them clear of offshore infrastructure such as oil and gas rigs.”
He said vessels would begin to use the Shipping Fairways when electronic and paper navigational charts were progressively updated from this month (August 2012) onwards.
He said the new network built on a number of other measures which aimed to ensure the laws and other arrangements that protected Australia’s marine environment were up to date and remained in step with international developments.
“With an expected doubling of shipping activity by 2020 we are planning for the future while protecting what we have today,” he said. “Since 2007, we have expanded the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS), established North East Shipping Management Group and proposed greater protections around Ningaloo Reef."