Queensland’s Reef Vessel Traffic Service Achieves International Accreditation

Queensland’s Reef Vessel Traffic Service Achieves International Accreditation

Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Ports Mark Bailey

Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef Navigation Service Is Internationally Recognised

Victor P Taffa

The Queensland Government’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), helping ships to navigate through the reef, has just achieved internationally recognised accreditation.

The Reef Vessel Traffic Service (ReefVTS) is a ship navigation service that monitors vessel traffic through the Great Barrier Reef to prevent collisions or incidents.

Main Roads and Ports Minister Mark Bailey said Townsville has a dedicated 24-hour VTS centre for ReefVTS.

“The ReefVTS centre uses land and satellite-based sensors to assist ships to navigate safely through the Great Barrier Reef including visits to Queensland ports.” Mr. Bailey said.

“The service extends from the Torres Strait and the approaches west of Thursday Island as far south as just north of Sandy Cape on Fraser Island.”

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles said ReefVTS lowered the risk of maritime incidents in the iconic Great Barrier Reef, preventing pollution and damage to the marine environment.

“The VTS network is one of the many initiatives we support under the national Reef 2050 program to protect and preserve this unique natural asset.” Dr. Miles said.

“It may not be as busy as other international services but it is certainly one of the largest, and watches over one of the world’s most unique ecosystems.”

Mr. Bailey said international accreditation followed a rigorous audit by Australian Maritime Safety Authority officers who spent two weeks overseeing operations and interviewing staff.

“Maratime Safety Queensland staff monitored and assisted about 19,000 ship movements through our ports and 11,250 movements through the reef over the past 12 months.” Mr. Bailey said.

“This achievement demonstrates Queensland’s commitment to maintaining the safety and sustainability of the state’s ports, maritime areas and the Great Barrier Reef.”