The Maritime Union of Australia has today welcomed the announcement by Teekay and BHP Billiton that the Iron Yandi will be replaced with the capesize bulk carrier Mariloula.
The Mariloula will enter service in June 2012 with Teekay Australia to undertake crew management responsibilities.
MUA National Assistant Secretary Warren Smith said the Mariloula's entry into service was a welcome development.
"Closer to the time of changeover of the vessel, the union will be undertaking an inspection and working with Teekay Australia to ensure a smooth transition from the Iron Yandi to the Mariloula," Mr Smith said.
"This is a very positive development for Australian shipping. The general decline in the Australian shipping fleet, started under the Howard Government, has been devastating
"Developments like this one show things are starting to turn around and that's a great thing for all those involved in Australian shipping and, indeed, the broader economy.
"The overall position of the Mariloula is likely to be enhanced further under the government's raft of shipping reform legislation, should it be passed by the Australian Parliament. The legislation, as proposed, would considerably improve the competiveness and viability of Australia's coastal trades.
"It is terrific to see ship owners Teekay Australia and BHP Billiton being prepared to invest in the Australian shipping industry - the safest and best-trained in the world.
"While other, less scrupulous outfits in Australia continue to rort the permit system with dangerously under-regulated Flag Of Convenience vessels with foreign crews, it is refreshing to see an alternate approach adopted in this case."
Mariloula - Vessel Details
Ship Type: Bulk carrier
Year Built: 2008
Length x Breadth: 292 m X 45 m
Gross Tonnage: 94232, DeadWeight: 179859 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 15.5 / 15.2 knots