Clarification: Cape & Torres News article regarding bulk carrier Movers 3

Published: 1 May 2021

The Maritime Union of Australia wishes to clarify a number of points contained in an article that appeared in the Cape & Torres News regarding the bulk carrier Movers 3, which has been banned from all Australian ports for 18 months by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority after being detained in Weipa for two months.

The article incorrectly identified Sarah Maguire as “MUA Queensland Inspector”. Ms Maguire is an Australian inspector for the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

The article also suggested that Rio Tinto was responsible for the chartering of the Movers 3, which is operated by Aswan Shipping. The bulk carrier is not part of Rio Tinto’s supply chain and was instead chartered by one of the mining company’s customers to transport bauxite from Australian to China.

Despite not being the charterer of the Movers 3, Rio Tinto has been proactive in trying to resolve the situation facing the seafarers onboard the vessel.

ITF Australia Coordinator Ian Bray said seafarers on board the Movers 3 had endured appalling conditions.

“The detention of the Movers 3 followed clear evidence of breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention, including blatant abuse of the human rights of the seafarers onboard,” Mr Bray said.

“The owner of the Movers 3, Aswan Shipping, had been contracted by a customer of Rio Tinto to transport bauxite from Australia to China. The mining giant did not charter the vessel, and the seafarers are not direct or indirect employees of Rio Tinto.

“The MUA and ITF are seeking to work proactively with Rio Tinto to ensure that human rights and living conditions become key measurements in the vetting systems used to identify suitable ships that may be utilised in the Rio Tinto supply chain.

“We want to work together to improve the situation facing seafarers in the deregulated global shipping industry, particularly onboard the vessels that carry Australia’s export commodities.”

Media contact: Tim Vollmer — 0404 273 313 —


AMSA Bans Movers 3

AMSA Press Release 


Australia bans bulk carrier Movers 3 after months of detention for appalling conditions
 AMSA has banned the bulk carrier Movers 3 from Australian ports for 18 months following outstanding mechanical and survey issues being resolved this week.
 AMSA has zero-tolerance for sub-standard ships operating in Australian waters.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has handed-down an 18 month ban to Panama-flagged bulk carrier Movers 3, which is operated by Aswan Shipping.
Movers 3 has been detained at anchor off Weipa in far north Queensland since 4 March 2021 for failing to carry out important regular surveys of the ship, and for appalling working and living conditions onboard.
Overnight, outstanding issues, namely the replacement of poorly maintained ballast tank head vents and the updated ship surveys, were finally resolved after a lengthy port State control detention.
On 29 April 2021 AMSA released Movers from detention and immediately issued it with a ban, prohibiting it from entering an Australian port for 18 months.
AMSA Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sachi Wimmer said Aswan Shipping had shown a complete disregard for its obligations to provide decent working and living conditions for its seafarers, and had not ensured its ships were maintained so they were safe for the crew and Australia’s marine environment.
“Aswan Shipping’s neglect has resulted in a difficult two months for the seafarers on Movers 3, let alone the effort required by many organisations to support them during this time,” Ms Wimmer said.
“We are holding Aswan Shipping accountable, it needs to step-up and fulfil its obligations as a ship owner and operate responsibly if it wants to trade in Australian ports in the future.
Ms Wimmer thanked the various parties involved who had assisted where Aswan Shipping had failed to act, organising food and welfare support for the impacted seafarers.
“The banning of Movers 3 should serve as a stark reminder to the maritime industry that AMSA will not tolerate or accept sub-standard ships in Australian waters,” Ms Wimmer said.
“A banning constitutes more than just a disruption to shipping schedules, it comes at great financial and reputational loss to the companies associated with these ships.
“Ship operators like Aswan Shipping are not welcome in Australian waters.”


Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney