Port Lincoln Sinking of "MV Apollo S" Just The Tip Of The Flag of Convenience "Iceberg"

ITF National Coordinator Dean Summers said that the deregulated ship registration system, known as the Flag of Convenience, exposes Australia to a considerable level of vulnerability for Australian jobs, environment and maritime security.

Mr Summers said the scuttling of the multimillion dollar fishing boat alongside a Port Lincoln wharf proved that dodgy FOC ships also pose serious threats to other Australian industries and workers and is set to get a lot worse in the very near future.




"Over the next two years I expect that Australia will be visited by some of the worst examples of substandard shipping due to unprecedented demands for shipping brought about by the bumper grain crops," he said.

"Bulk Carriers will be in high demand to move our exports, and there will be temptation for shippers to use any ship available including cheap ships and cheaper shipowners.

"The ITF demands that all those responsible for shipping charters make absolutely sure that FOC ships coming to Australian Ports are of the highest standards and recognize crews' rights through ITF approved agreements. 

"We will monitor the investigations into this accident, but caution the Australian Government, shippers and growers that the risk of using rogue FOC operators could come at a very high cost."

ITF Contact: Dean Summers - 0419 934 648.