Careers in Maritime
Australia, as an island nation, depends on a safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable maritime sector. Around 25 per cent of the domestic freight task (on a tonne kilometre basis) is carried by ships, with the number set to increase over the coming years. Over the last 15 years, the amount of this cargo carried by foreign vessels employing foreign crews has increased from six per cent to 30 per cent. Whilst more than 99 per cent of Australia’s international trade is carried by ships, only 0.5 per cent of its export trade is carried on Australian flagged vessels. Since 1996, the number of Australian registered trading vessels has more than halved from 55 to 22; and employment on Australian registered trading vessels has reduced from 2,400 to 1,300 over the same period. Ship owners globally continue to register ships in ‘ports of convenience’ and, in most cases, source seafaring labour from those regions, in order to save costs. However, it is expected that the Federal Government’s shipping reforms will lead to an increase in the number of Australian flagged ships.
There are four sectors in the maritime industry: the up and down stream sector, which includes oil and gas production, iron ore mining, shipbuilding and marine cargo handling; international blue water transport, which operates vessels for the transportation of passengers or freight by sea between domestic and foreign ports; near coastal water transport, which operates vessels for the movement of passengers or freight by sea between domestic ports; and inland water transport, which operates vessels that transport freight or passengers in harbours or inland waters (except tug boats or lighters).
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