28/11/2006 - 21:00

Leading the way on port ID card

28/11/2006 - 21:00

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

Maritime security remains a key issue for Australian ports, with Western Australia leading the country in the processing of applications for the Maritime Security Identification Card despite reports nationally of a slow take up in the scheme.

Leading the way on port ID card

Maritime security remains a key issue for Australian ports, with Western Australia leading the country in the processing of applications for the Maritime Security Identification Card despite reports nationally of a slow take up in the scheme.

Earlier this month, Transport Minister Mark Vaile said that, despite the slow take up, the January 1 2007 deadline and implementation of the card would remain in place.

Mr Vaile said the reason behind slow take up was more a matter of apathy rather than workers actively working against the introduction of the identification card.

However, a Fremantle Port Authority spokesperson said the co-ordination of the MISC scheme had been a success, with 4,500 applications for Fremantle having been processed to date, ahead of expectations.

“Additionally, over 6,000 MISC cards have been printed by Fremantle Ports for regional ports in WA,” the spokesperson said.

“In all, about 17,000 MISC applications have been processed in WA, which is more than any other state.”

Nationwide, about 65,000 applications for the cards are expected prior to the scheme’s full introduction by January 1 2007, with approximately 60,000 having already applied for the card.

The card confirms the holder’s identity and that they have been background checked by the Australian Federal Police and the ASIO.

It is the first time that workers in the maritime and associated industries will have their backgrounds checked.

The MSIC scheme covers 70 ports and roughly 250 maritime industry participants. All waterfront workers, maritime contractors, agents and maintenance staff, seafarers on Australian regulated ships, truck and train drivers and operators, regular port visitors and suppliers are covered. Anyone working on an offshore oil and gas facility will also require a MSIC.

The Fremantle Port Authority spokesperson said the port adopted a leadership role in WA to ensure a streamlined and efficient introduction, application processing and ongoing production of the MISC scheme for WA ports.

The rollout of MSIC comes at a time when Fremantle port is continuing to improve its security requirements.

As well as focusing on personnel identification, the port, in this financial year, is looking towards improving on perimeter security.

Since 2004, almost $3 million has been spent by the port on inner and outer harbour security including the replacement and upgrading of time lapse video recording equipment and upgrading and extending the closed circuit television surveillance system.

Security fencing and barriers have been upgraded with 1,800 metres of high security palisade steel fencing installed and improved lighting installed on Victoria Quay.

Fremantle Ports chief executive officer Kerry Sanderson said security remained a high priority for the port.

“We are required under law to ensure that our operational areas have appropriate security in place,” she said.

“Fremantle port has been implementing a security plan approved by the federal Department of Transport and Regional Services.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options