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Marine Industry Unites After Cyclone Debbie

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Whitsunday marine group has new post cyclone story to tell

Luke McCaul is determined to learn from the lessons of the past and share that knowledge with the Whitsunday marine community.

When Cyclone Debbie crossed the coast at Airlie Beach, the Abell Point Marina manager was ready to implement his internal disaster management plan.

But it soon became evident there was a hitch.

His plan was developed in isolation and an event of this magnitude needed a whole of region approach.

That is why last week Mr McCaul convened a meeting of representatives from not just the local marine industry but insurance and government sectors as well.

Gathered at the Abell Point Marina were disaster management experts, Ergon Energy personnel, marine surveyors, insurers and representatives from the region’s council, tourism, bareboat and charter boat industry organisations.

Together the group thrashed out the challenges an event like Cyclone Debbie brought.

Communication issues, death by media, increased insurance premiums, excesses and risks, and the need to remove bureaucratic hurdles in the event of a disaster were all discussed.

Three hours later a working group had formed, determined to develop a new marine plan, with the ultimate aim of safeguarding the Whitsundays’ marine assets, recognising both their economic benefit to the region and the unique nature of the marine tourism industry in this boating epicentre on the Australian east coast.

Mr McCaul said one of the points that really resonated for him was the need for the region to have a new story to tell – particularly for the insurance industry where Queensland’s disasters of the last 10 years had been etched into corporate memory.

“As a region we need to take responsibility for our actions and getting ourselves back to business and hopefully that starts to reduce our risk,” he said.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said especially important for him was the development of a strong communications plan that engaged all operators.

“We know what didn’t work last time and if we don’t act on that we’re complicit in not being able to deliver in the next emergency,” he said.

Tourism Whitsundays chairman Al Grundy who is also the Vice President of the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association, said while he recognised and respected the council’s local disaster management plan, “it’s clearly evident that the marine industry here is unique”.

“That’s why it’s so critical to our economic integrity that we have a dedicated marine plan that is either closely aligned with or becomes a component of the local disaster management plan,” Mr Grundy said.

Thrilled with the attendance at the meeting, Mr Grundy also said while he came to it “very concerned” about the potential implications of increased insurance costs or not being able to obtain insurance at all in a worst case future scenario, “with good planning and policy development we can reduce that risk considerably”.

“And I think the insurance delegates that were there had their eyes opened to that and the potential for us all to work together,” he said.

Maria Dwyer from Oceanic Marine Risks, who was instrumental in bringing many of those delegates to the table, said she could see this model going way beyond the Whitsundays.

“This group is determined to meet the challenge of climate change and reduce future losses to marine structures and vessels in North Queensland,” she said.

The newly formed Whitsundays Marine Risk Management Group will now focus on key areas of the policy development including communication and education strategies.

The group will meet again at the end of May.

Ends

Oceanic Marine Risks

Ensuring a Safe Christmas on the Water

By | News, Uncategorized

The Christmas and New Year period is the perfect time to drag the boat out and hit the water to appreciate our beautiful sunny Queensland.

You certainly will not be the only boat owner to have this thought so please be mindful of all extra boats out on the water. Increased traffic means a higher number of incidents so we ask that you, your family and friends be extra cautious and alert this year.

Here are a few tips to help make your Christmas afloat a safe one:

  • Always ensure there is a charged mobile phone available
  • Have an EPIRB on-board if operating more than 2 nautical miles from land in open waters. Ensure this in date and registered.
  • If drinking, please ensure there is at least 1 designated driver onboard. Police periodically conduct random breath tests in our waters. The blood alcohol limits for recreational skippers is 0.05.
  • Always check the weather forecast before and during your trip. Be prepared for extreme conditions.

From everyone at Oceanic Marine Risks, we wish you all a wonderful festive season.

Enjoy your time on the water this Christmas!

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Oceanic Marine Risks

Foreign Insurers allowed into North Queensland

By | News, Uncategorized

It was announced last week that the Federal Government would set-up an online aggregator to allow consumers to compare insurance policies and to allow brokers to sell insurance policies from foreign insurers.

Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) voiced concerns about the entrance of foreign insurers into the Australian market. Existing licensed insurers operate under some of the tightest regulations of any industry sector, yet Unauthorised Foreign Insurers (UFI) may not be held to the same legal, prudential and capital requirements, nor the same consumer laws and remedies.

The industry is concerned consumers who buy a product from a UFI under these new guidelines may not be able to rely on that company to deliver on its promise if the consumer needs to make a claim.

(ICA) isn’t the only one concerned by the Federal Government’s plans for the North Queensland market, brokers in Queensland are also worried by the changes set to come into force in March 2015.

The ICA believes all market participants selling retail insurance products must abide by the same set of laws and capital requirements, and exceptions should not be made that would diminish consumer rights and create further uncertainty.

As has been stressed by many regarding the government planned aggregator, the ICA was keen to point-out the dangers over a price-reliant system.

As ASIC and other agencies and organisations have pointed out, buying a product on price alone may result in the consumer not having cover for the risks they face. Buying a product should first focus on its features and benefits

“This is especially important in North Queensland, which is one of Australia’s most exposed regions to natural disasters.”

Oceanic Marine Risks

Maritime 2014: Ship to Shore

By | News, Uncategorized

Australia’s inaugural national shipping and domestic commercial vessel conference.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority will be hosting the first national shipping and domestic commercial vessel conference. Combining the knowledge and resources of Natship and the Marine Safety Conference, this event will bring together national & regional representatives across the maritime industry in Melbourne on 10 – 12 November 2014.

Maritime 2014: Ship to Shore will provide a unique opportunity for people involved in both the shipping and domestic commercial vessel industries throughout Australia to discuss the latest maritime developments in regulations, safety, environment, seafarer qualifications, navigation and search & rescue. With a concurrent exhibition, this event will provide a meeting place for industry representatives to exchange ideas and knowledge, as well as to establish personal and business connections.

This is the first time since the commencement of the Navigation Act 2012 and the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessels that representatives of government, business and industry will come together to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities of Australia’s maritime industry.

Oceanic Marine Risks

New Policy for the Australian Maritime Industry

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Oceanic Marine Risks is pleased to announce the launch of their latest policy, Marine Trades Public and Products Liability,  specifically created for the Australian Marine Industry.

The policy is aimed at businesses which perform or provide various services to watercraft owners and operators. This coverage is not limited to specific operations as traditionally done, it is flexible and tailored to suit  the individual needs of the marine tradesman.

With Oceanic and CGU our policy partner, our customers get the right insurance cover at the right price, tailored and delivered by insurance professionals and backed by the financial strength and security of a company that has been serving Australian communities for over 160 years.