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Councillor calls for more maritime

02 Jul 2019

Councillor calls for more maritime Image

Docklands marine heritage advocate Cr Jackie Watts wants local TAFE college Kangan to beef up its maritime focus.

Kangan already delivers training in marine technology and allied marine retail services, but Cr Watts says there is an opportunity to create a maritime specialist skills centre to cater for unmet demand.

“There is an opportunity to consolidate what marine training occurs in Melbourne and readily expand the scope of training offered without any significant investment,” Cr Watts said in a recent private research paper.

“Currently an unmet need exists for training in the recreational boating industry, for example: marine engineering, small boat building, sail making, electronics repair skills, heritage boat restoration etc.”

“Boating industry sources indicate that the sector could absorb graduates with an expanded set of maritime technical and other related skills. Growth in the cruise ship industry and coastal tourism in the region may offer employment dependent on new skills.”

Cr Watts said: “The delivery of marine technology, marine services and related training courses will enhance Melbourne’s credibility as an international port city, will activate Docklands and will support the recreational boating industry, which is a major economic driver in this state.”

“Training in the Docklands area will encourage watercraft-based employment of all types (e.g. tourism, ferry transport, recreation boating, shipping). Increased numbers of students and staff will generate economic up-lift for Docklands.”

Cr Watts noted that, while the campus delivered marine technology, it did not have access to the water. She envisages Kangan collaborating with a yet-to-be-built Melbourne Marine Operations Service Depot in the Bolte West Precinct in Lorimer St.

She said the City of Melbourne was committed to establishing this facility, which would include a slipway.

“If Docklands is to optimise economic up-lift from its waterfront location, infrastructure to sustain and grow local maritime recreation activity is essential,” Cr Watts said. “Operational services at such a facility would include refuelling, litter collection, shore-to-ship/ship-to-shore access and a staging area for events.”

She said it made sense for Kangan to take a lead role because it already had already had a global presence and relationships with many maritime nations.

“A marine operations service depot will enable all types of maritime activities to occur at Docklands, generating employment and income,” she said. Cr Watts said example activities included scheduled refits, repairs, electrical, plumbing, rigging, sail making, joinery, engineering.

“There is an unmet demand for such marine services located in close proximity to Victoria Harbour in order to support the existing level of recreation marine activities,” she said.

The Case for a Maritime Specialist Skills Centre Kangan TAFE

Given the size and growth of the boating industry, the paucity of maritime education and training in Melbourne is inexplicable. There is an opportunity to consolidate what marine training occurs in Melbourne and readily expand the scope of training offered without any significant investment. Kangan TAFE is located in Docklands and has opportunity for expansion into adjacent Fox land if necessary.

Currently an unmet need exists for training in the recreational boating industry eg. marine engineering, small boat building, sail making, electronics repair skills, heritage boat restoration etc. (Note: Victoria University no longer delivers maritime training and GoTAFE is in Werribee.)

Boating industry sources indicate that the sector could absorb graduates with an expanded set of maritime technical and other related skills. Growth in the cruise ship industry and coastal tourism in the region may offer employment dependent on new skills.

Note: “Coastal shipping decline part of broader maritime capability crisis” (AFR 29/1/2019 media report.)

PwC Skills is the national skills service organisation with responsibility to determine strategic direction of maritime skills training. The PwC industry sector forecast is currently being prepared by PwC Skills (February 2019). The Victorian Skills Commission is responsible for determining industry skills requirements for Victoria.

The delivery of marine technology, marine services and related training courses will enhance Melbourne’s credibility as an international port city, will activate Docklands and will support the recreational boating industry, which is a major economic driver in this State. Training in the Docklands area will encourage watercraft based employment of all types (e.g. tourism, ferry transport, recreation boating, shipping). Increased numbers of students and staff will generate economic up-lift for Docklands.

Note: AMSA reports in order to work in the Australian maritime industry accredited qualifications (or ‘tickets’) from a registered training organisation are required. Fields include maritime safety, pollution response or handling dangerous cargo, specialist training. Specialist training is necessary for responding to or handling dangerous cargo.Kangan.

Context

There are obvious advantages in establishing a Marine Skills Specialist Education Centre within an existing TAFE:

Already has global presence in China, Korea, India and South America. Training in marine technology and allied marine retail services is now being delivered. The scope of training is limited and could be expanded to include delivery of non-accredited units related to licensing and safety.

Already delivers marine technology yet has no water access.

Already an international presence and relationships with India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia – all maritime nations requiring maritime training.

Could deliver training related to Watercraft Licensing.

Could deliver AMSA approved credentials in Water Safety and Response consistent with and compliant with the National Training Plan.

Could apply to Australian Maritime College for permission to deliver a suite of programs (as has recently occurred in Sydney).

Could collaborate with and access the planned Melbourne Marine Operation Service Depot for training purposes.

Could deliver marine related hobby courses (eg. navigation, boat repair, sail making).

Could expand training in maritime skills – related to cruise shipping, events, hospitality, retail.

The Case for a Melbourne Marine Operations Service Depot

The recreation boating industry is a significant economic driver in this State. Provision of adequate marine services in Melbourne is critical to any expansion of recreational boating as well as maintaining and expanding the Heritage Fleet and supporting the boating industry.

If Docklands is to optimise economic up-lift from its waterfront location, infrastructure to sustain and grow local maritime recreation activity is essential eg. maintenance facilities, provisioning for ALL types of watercraft and voyages. Operational services at such a facility would include refueling, litter collection, shore-to-ship/ship-to-shore access, staging area for events.

The City of Melbourne is committed to establishing this facility on the Yarra bank south at Bolte West Precinct. Plans are progressing.

See Annual Plan Initiatives

City of Melbourne Annual Plan 2018-19: 2019-20

“Progress planning and design for Waterways Operations Precinct in the Bolte Precinct West, to support effective growth of marine activities in Docklands.”

The City of Melbourne Waterways Operations Concept Plan Bolte Precinct West April 2017.

City of Melbourne Parks, Property and Waterways Branch ‘Docklands Waterways Strategic Plan 2009-2018.

Considerations

The Melbourne Marine Operations Service Depot will need a slip way on the designated space in the Bolte West Precinct, which is already allocated for community use by Development Victoria.

Access to water will be of value for marine technology students at the Kangan TAFE.

A Marine Operations Service Depot will enable ALL types of maritime activities to occur at Docklands generating employment and income eg. scheduled refits, repairs, electrical, plumbing, rigging, sail making, joinery, engineering, etc.

There is an unmet demand for such marine services located in close proximity to Victoria Harbour in order to support the existing level of recreation marine activities.

Increased water transport will generate greater demand for a Marine Operations Services Depot.

There is a need to consider power to the site, vessel waste disposal, and vehicle access for provisioning, spare parts and fuel.

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