PNG and Australia to improve safety at sea

By Charles Yapumi

Papua New Guinea’s National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) and Australian High Commission this week signed a new partnership arrangement to improve safety at sea for all Maritime Provinces in Papua New Guinea.

The new arrangement will see Australia provide support to NMSA to improve PNG’s compliance with international maritime safety obligations.

The arrangement will support safety for small craft and PNG’s maritime legislative framework. And also support NMSA to explore ways to more effectively and efficiently undertake ship inspections to improve regulatory oversight of commercial shipping.

All activities under the arrangement will be managed and implemented jointly and align with the Government of Papua New Guinea’s priorities.

NMSA General Manager/CEO, Paul Unas, noted the benefits of the close relationship with Australia and the importance of continuing to work towards improving maritime safety standards.

“Thanks to this technical support from Australia, NMSA will be able to achieve more. The arrangement will focus on realising our mandate, making our country’s waters safer and meeting international standards,”Unas said.

Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor, Benedict David emphasised the value of this new arrangement.

“This package of support will enhance safety at sea for vessels large and small. This is vital for domestic and international trade as well as for families around the coast using small banana boats.”

Australia’s support to the NMSA under the arrangement will be delivered through the Government of Australia-funded Transport Sector Support Program.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development will continue to play a critical role in technical advice and project delivery under the arrangement.

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