21 Dec 2012

International support for rebuilding of PNG Maritime Safety Authority

10:12 am on 21 December 2012

The Papua New Guinea Maritime Safety Authority is receiving international help to update the country's marine safety legislation.

The Rabaul Queen disaster in February, which claimed at least 141 lives, led to calls for major changes at the Authority as well as its establishing law.

Don Wiseman has more.

"The agency was viewed by the commission of inquiry into the disaster as having not fulfilled its obligations. The Commission called for the Maritime Safety Act to be reviewed while the government has committed to give the Authority what is needed to help it operate effectively. The Authority says this week it has had officials from the International Maritime Organisation in Port Moresby helping to update the legislation. Meanwhile the Asian Development Bank has announced a 41 point 5 million US dollar loan to improve navigational aids in PNG, allowing ships to travel more safely through the country's largely unchartered and often unsafe waters."

The ADB's Pacific director general, Xianbin Yao, says the Maritime and Waterways Safety Project will upgrade the existing navigational aids network, reducing risks such as the blockage of channels. It also aims to establish a safe and efficient maritime transport environment for national, regional, and international traffic.