Australia re-elected to IMO Council

Media Release

WT398/2015

28 November 2015

Australia was re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London overnight, reflecting our nation's key role in international shipping.

The IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. Australia was elected to the IMO Council, which consists of 20 IMO Members with a special interest in maritime transport and navigation.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said Australia's re-election to the IMO Council ensures Australia's interests are represented at the highest levels of international maritime policy making.

“This election reaffirms Australia's contribution to the development and implementation of international standards on maritime safety, security and pollution prevention,” Mr Truss said.

“Australia has significant maritime interests and we continue to work towards improving the safety and reliability of shipping in Australian waters, as well as in the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific regions more broadly.

“Australia is a founding member of the IMO and has been a mainstay member of the Council since 1959 and is one of the few countries to have been represented on the IMO Council for more than 45 years.

“Our economic prosperity is reliant on safe, secure and efficient shipping. Indeed, shipping has long been undervalued as a vital element to our economic interests, with almost all the goods we trade arriving or departing by sea.

“We are also the world's largest island nation and responsible for 16 million square kilometres of ocean under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Australia's maritime zone includes 12,000 islands and covers all five of the world's ocean temperature zones, from tropical to polar. Our marine environment is also home to spectacular biodiversity, much of it endemic to Australian waters.

“The Australian Government aims to ensure that the thousands of international vessels visiting Australian ports each year are seaworthy, have competent crews and can safely navigate their way through our pristine marine areas.”