10 June 2013 – ITF Australia coordinator Dean Summers has warned of potential environmental damage in Melbourne, Australia due to an unsafe vessel inspected in the port.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority found that the Greek-operated, Indonesian-owned Sat Nunki was too unclean to carry grain, as its hatches had previously been filled with phosphate and coal.
Dean Summers warned that the operation to clean up the vessel while in the port of Melbourne was too rushed, and could even represent a possible threat to the local marine environment.
“Normally cleaning would occur well out to sea, and would be done with proper safety and environmental protocols, ” he said. “Instead we are seeing a rushed job … without proper environmental safeguards.
“We believe that if the waste from inside the vessel’s holds are not cleared away properly this material could lead to devastating environmental consequences for the surrounding area.”
He also reported that the ship’s Chinese and Burmese crewmembers were owed US$60, 000 in unpaid wages.
Mr Summers urged immediate action “to prevent the shipowners and operators from continuing to cut corners with workplace and environmental safety”.