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21/06/2022 - Update of Splash Maritime Training- Comment by Ranger Hope.

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09/10/2017 - NSW now plans to extend traffic gridlock to the Parramatta River- Comment by Ranger Hope.
The proposition to increase the Parramatta River Ferry Services is naively seen by NSW Government as a new highway for free. The cities arteries are clogged. Centralised job opportunities with excessive commute times create poor life styles for most workers.

Pro-active incentives for the many business and public sector operations that can benefit by relocation to rural centres are long overdue. While top management and politicians fiercly cling on to their city centre penthouse bastions, not for the company's good but their career networking, the Australian Dream is trashed.

09/3/2017 - Mean spirited parking fees - Comment by Ranger Hope.
The patchy state of public transportation in Australia is a result of policy reliant on private automobiles. Cities now approach gridlock while Governments abandon responsibility for infrastructure without tolls, and Councils without parking fees/fines. The reasonable concept of parking restrictions in order to fairly ration a limited resource has been overtaken by the opportunity of mean spirited fee gouging. It would be rare in the Sydney region to take the kids to a park or beach without a developer or council having a hand out for $7 an hour, often much more. In the least populated country in the world, have they not heard of "Park and Ride"- free suburban parking with free transport link to urban centres - most other countries have.

Similar bone headed planning is seen in recreational mooring policy. Many enlightened countries have retained sufficient industrial waterside land for yachts to be stored on the hard over winter, hence clearing unsightly mooring minders and seagull havens. Not so our mean spirited Government that pants to flog off the public foreshore to developers looking for your premium property for its view.

14/6/2016 - Australian Domestic Shipping - Comment by Ranger Hope.
"The once vibrant Australian Domestic Shipping Industry is in terminal decline that will take decades for recovery of expertise, vessels and infrastructure. Unlike other countries who protect their domestic trade on an appreciation of national security, the Australian Government continues to support unfair competition from Flag of Convenience shippers not subject to the same Australian safety, labour or tax regulations.”:

4/6/2016 - AMSA DVD oral exams - Comment by Ranger Hope.
"Regulators operational (driving) tests are universally employed for road, rail and air transport licensing world-wide. Arguments from AMSA DVD in support of their proposal to transfer orals (on water final assessments without funding assistance) from the regulator to the training organisation include”:
• The example of a training organisation’s final assessment model employed by the Australian Maritime College, a unit of the University of Tasmania. (A fully funded tertiary institution in the smallest geographical and populated State closely managed by the State’s Education and Maritime Authorities?)
• Maritime Industry and Regulator’s desire for the reduction in red tape where risk is not evidenced using “trust and verify” safety monitoring for failures. (How many near misses represent evidence?)
• Fault in the functioning of the model will be captured by on water enforcement. (After the accident?)
The requirement of boat driving tests is not of exclusive interest to the maritime industry but is a core expectation by the public of the Regulator to assure minimum safety on the water, as it is on the road, rail or in the air. In this context a reasonable person will be as disquieted at the proposed diluting transparency for commercial vessel driving tests as he/she would be if road driving tests were ever proposed to be transferred to learner driver schools with commercial interests.

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On the water:

22/9/2016 - Glebe Island. The container ship Hanjin California remains under arrest at the old Glebe Island Container Terminal prompted by claim of failure to settle bunkering after the owners file for receivership. It is said that Hanjin invested heavily, as other shipping companies, anticipating an increase in global trade that has not eventuated. More of this story at Lloyds List Australia.


14/6/2016 - Barangaroo. The new development overshadows the city.

22/9/2016 - Glebe Island. Raining again...the North Coast copping it.

4/6/2016 - Wild weather. Flooding and seven metre swells hit NSW East Coast as a result of East Coast Low in Tasman Sea. More at BOM website.

3/6/2016 - The Vivid light show lights up Sydney harbour.


Technology news:

31/5/2016 - Avalanche of space junk. Global positioning, weather forecast and communication satellites are at risk of being brought down by a catastrophic avalanche of space junk. Chief executive of the Space Environment Research Centre Ben Greene said a thumbnail-size piece of junk travelling at 10 kilometres a second could take down a satellite. Dr Green said the avalanche scenario refers to an event which wiped out all satellites – which would compound the problem as it would create yet more space junk. "The most pessimistic mathematical model says that we are within five years of having a 50-50 chance that a catastrophic avalanche of collisions will occur any day," Dr Greene said. "The most optimistic model says we've got 25 years." More of this article from Bridie Smith Science Editor of the Age at the Sydney Morning Herald website.

1/5/2016 - Update on navigational positioning systems. In addition to American Global Positioning System (GPS), other systems are in use or under development including the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), the European Union Galileo positioning system, China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, the Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, and India's Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.

GPS is a space-based satellite navigation system composed of 24 to 32 satellites in medium Earth orbit that provides location and time information on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. The system provides critical capabilities to military, civil, and commercial users around the world. The United States government created the system, maintains it, and makes it freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.

GLONASS is a space-based satellite navigation system of 24 satellites enabling full global coverage operated by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces. It provides an alternative to GPS and is the second alternative navigational system in operation. Smartphones can receive GLONASS positioning information along with GPS for a more accurate reception of up to 2 meters.

Galileo, the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) of 24 operational and 6 active spare satellites is currently being created by the European Space Agency Galileo. It is intended to provide position to 1-metre, and better at high latitudes. It will start offering from 2016 with the complete 30-satellite Galileo system expected by 2020.

BDS, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is a Chinese satellite navigation system of two separate satellite constellations – a limited test system that has been operating since 2000, and a full-scale global navigation system that is currently under construction. The first BeiDou system consists of three satellites and has offered limited coverage in China’s neighboring regions since 2000. The second generation BDS known as COMPASS or BeiDou-2, will be a global satellite navigation system consisting of 35 satellites, and is under construction as of January 2015. In-mid 2015, China started the build-up of the third generation BeiDou system (BDS-3) in the global coverage constellation.

QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System), is a proposed Japanese three-satellite regional system. The construction of three satellites is slated for launch before the end of 2017 and the basic four-satellite system is planned to be operational in 2018. QZSS can only provide limited accuracy on its own and is not currently required in its specifications to work in a stand-alone mode. As such, it is viewed as a GNSS Augmentation service.

IRNSS, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or is a Navigation Satellite System consisting of 3 satellites in GEO orbit and 4 satellites in GSO orbit providing positioning extending to 1500 km around India. The requirement of such a navigation system is driven because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations.


Industry news:

15/3/2016 - End of Australian flagged coastal trade. The Maritime Industry Australia Limited warns the sector will disappear without action.... CEO Teresa Lloyd statements included "Australia has a very strict cabotage regime for aviation where foreign companies can't just come here and operate on domestic routes...but they have a very liberal approach to cabotage for the maritime sector." Ms Lloyd said cabotage was "a preference or a reservation for domestic activity for domestic operators". Such systems exist in many countries, an example being the USA, where it requires all goods transported by water be by US constructed and US flagged vessels. Read full report in ABC news website.

30/6/2015 - AMSA DVD Service Delivery Changes. Transport Ministers representing all states and territories decided in November 2014 that AMSA will assume responsibility for full delivery of services and funding for domestic commercial vessels by July 2019, with a 2-year transition period commencing in July 2017...A nationally delivered service presents real and substantial benefits to the domestic maritime industry and the Australian economy, with a focus on reducing regulatory burden and rewarding good safety management, AIMEX writes. It will also make it possible to implement a modern risk-based regulatory safety scheme that is consistently applied across Australia...
Regulatory Update for Domestic Commercial Vessels -Thursday Island. More than a dozen people attended a National System information session held on Thursday Island on 2nd July. The attendees were given an update on the operation of the National System by AMSA’s Manager (Liaison), who also explained the practical difference that AMSA’s focus on red tape reduction and a “trust and verify” model should mean for their organisations. More of this article from AIMEX (Australian Marine Exports) at AIMEX Domestic Vessel E-news.

Regulator news:

10/5/2016 - AMSA DVD supersedes State regulators. Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Domestical Commercial Vessel Division (DVD) holds a road show for training organisations in Sydney. Presenters announces to attendees its plans to fully supersede State Maritime Certification/Survey Authorities by July 2017. They also stated plans to step back from its currently legislated responsibility for audit of its approved training organisations (leaving this to ASQA). Additionally they announced that it will require certification document authentication to be complied and processed by training organisations including a final practical assessments (orals). More at AMSA website.


The content of this production is for study only. The Authors make all content and linked material available on the understanding that users exercise their own skill and care with respect to its use. Before relying on the material in any important matter users should carefully evaluate the accuracy completeness and relevance of the information for their purposes and should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances

Ranger Hope©2007- Updated 20-5-2022..