ITF Media Release: Senate Inquiry Focuses on Dangerous Gaps in Australian Maritime Security

Australian Border Force (ABF) officials will be back in the hot seat today as the Senate Inquiry into Flag of Convenience (FOC) Shipping resumes.

It comes in the wake of double murder findings by the NSW Coroner investigating the deaths of two foreign seafarers aboard the (FOC) MV Sage Sagittarius in Australian waters in 2012. A third crew member was found dead in the vessel’s coal loader when it arrived in Japan.


ABF officials were grilled last week in the inquiry over national security issues arising from the coronial findings. The murder ship’s captain, Venancio Salas Jr, did not warrant a red flag when he returned to work for eight months in Australian waters, despite him admitting to selling guns on board and being a person of interest in the coronial inquest.


LNP Senator Barry O’Sullivan told the officials last week: “This is not going to end here for me. You have left me very concerned about the security arrangements in your agencies, if someone like Captain Salas does not qualify for a red flag.


“You might not want to know, but I suspect ordinary Australians would want to know when the Salas’s of the world are in our ports. G –U –N –S. I do not give a rat’s arse where they are coming from or where they are going. We need to know when these sort of people are in our company.”

MEDIA ALERT: 3.30pm, Wednesday 21 June 2017.

What: Senate Inquiry into Flag of Convenience Shipping.

Where:  Committee Room 1S4, Parliament House, Canberra

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Australian Coordinator Dean Summers said: “Australia’s national security is increasingly at risk as we become more reliant on the dodgy FOC system for our domestic trade and fuel security.


“Last month, the Federal Government effectively dismissed all of the Senate Inquiry’s interim recommendations. This ignores warnings of national security threats and encourages future exploitation and harm of foreign workers.”


Media Contact: Darrin Barnett 0428 119 703