NEWS


All Australian Coast Stations to Close Down on June 30th 2002

Australian Coast Station Facilites for DSC

New Weather Services via Voice and Radio Fax

Responsibility for marine radio passed onto states

States to provide marine service


Gareth's Shave for Cancer

Gareth Evans, MCO Brisbane, recently had his curly locks shaved for a good cause - to collect money for Cancer Research. You will notice that when a call for volunteers to go with Gareth was made, Kim Warren put his hand up. Barber Brian Henneberry, Gentlemens Barber, from Morayfield Village (near Cocos) donated his time for the cause, so why not repay the community spirit and visit him next time you require a "trim up".

The End Result Comb it Up The New Me I Still Love You Half Way

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Australian Coast Station facilities for DSC

Australia has declared the whole of the Australian Search and Rescue Region as GMDSS Sea Area A3 which gives large commercial ships the option of using Inmarsat or HF DSC as a primary means of communications and distress alerting. Currently Telstra provides HF DSC distress alerting through Perth Radio and Brisbane Radio.

These services will be replaced by a new service from 1 July 2002. Two new HF DSC stations operated by TVNZ will provide HF DSC distress alerting and follow-on communications on radiotelephony and Narrow Band Direct Printing (NBDP).

Any vessel fitted with appropriate HF DSC equipment can call into the HF DSC network.

The States/Territories are responsible for marine safety communications services for recreational craft and fishing vessels. It is understood that the primary service to continue into the future will be VHF voice channel 16 and 67. Shore facilities for VHF DSC are not currently planned. In the short term there would appear to be little requirement for VHF DSC equipment for small craft operating within VHF voice coverage.

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Responsibility for marine radio passed onto states (article)

by Graham Newland, Fremantle

The Western Australian Government says national changes to marine radio distress and safety arrangements, just announced by the federal government, will not result in reduced services in WA.

The existing 24-hour service funded by the federal government will cease operation on June 30 next year.

A totally new structure is being installed and the states and territories will assume key new responsibilities.This follows AMSA's decision last August to award TVNZ (Australia) a five-year contract to upgrade Australia's maritime communications system.

A sister company to TVNZ has provided New Zealand with a similar service for over seven years.Telstra, which provides the existing system, put in a losing bid for the upgrade, according to an industry source.

AMSA CEO Clive Davidson has said the new system will provide better value for money, enhance the quality of ship to shore communications and extend coverage. Under the new regime, the six existing coastal radio stations at Perth, Darwin, Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne will be closed.

AMSA and TVNZ will establish new unmanned outback HF transmission facilities at Wiluna in WA and Charleville in Queensland. They will use satellites and high frequency digital selective calling (DSC) radio.

An AMSA spokesman confirmed there will be a tender process for the satellite component. The upgraded system will only provide services for commercial ships over 300 grt. Under the 1974 International Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention, the Commonwealth must provide a distress and safety communications service ( HF and DSC and Inmarsat C) for these vessels. Non-SOLAS vessels can also use this service.

Under the Telstra arrangement, however, the Commonwealth also provides a free bonus - MF/HF and selected VHF services for small vessels.

The ministers in the Australian council of Transport this week announced states will have to provide non-SOLAS services, tasking the Inter-governmental Australian Maritime Group AMG to develop proposals for a nationally consistent system.

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States to provide marine service (article)

State and Territory marine authorities are set to take over provision of marine radio distress services for small boats under proposals announced yesterday.

"Australian Transport council ministers have tasked the Australian Maritime Group to develop… proposals for a replacement service that maintains existing levels of service." ATC said in a statement.

"The objective of the replacement service is to provide non-SOLAS vessels with nationally consistent maritime radio communications including 24-hour monitoring of distress, safety and urgency calls and regular broadcasts of weather information."

Under the 1974 international Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention, the commonwealth must provide emergency distress communications services for SOLAS vessels over 300 tonnes.

- Townsville bulletin Sat 7th July 2001

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