AMSA Board appointments named

The Australian Government has today announced three appointments to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Board, to further boost the Authority’s skill and expertise.

Dr Rosalie Balkin AO and Mr Tony Briggs are the two new AMSA Board appointments, to serve their first three-year term.

Mr Peter Toohey has been re-appointed for his second three-year term after his initial appointment in June 2015.

Dr Balkin is currently Secretary General of the Comité Maritime International and was previously Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations at the International Maritime Organization.

Mr Briggs is the founder, former Managing Director and a current board member of Coral Expeditions cruise line and he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Shipowners’ Protection and Indemnity Association of Luxembourg.

Mr Toohey brings considerable experience of maritime salvage operations and is currently Chief Engineer of Brisbane Tugs for Svitzer Australia and Secretary of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said AMSA performed a critical role protecting the nation’s marine environment while supporting safe navigation and marine safety.

Mr McCormack said AMSA also provides a national search and rescue service, and represents Australia at the International Maritime Organization.

“The appointments of Dr Rosalie Balkin AO and Mr Tony Briggs, as well as the reappointment of Mr Peter Toohey, will ensure the AMSA Board has the knowledge, skills and experience to support its ongoing successful management of strategic maritime priorities,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr McCormack said Mr Briggs and Mr Toohey both bring substantial experience across different sectors of Australia’s domestic commercial vessel industries, which is an important advancement for the AMSA Board which is now solely responsible for regulating the safety of such vessels.

He said having also held various academic posts, Dr Balkin will bring considerable knowledge to the AMSA Board of several areas of the law, including maritime law.

“I am sure Dr Balkin, Mr Briggs and Mr Toohey will provide invaluable contributions to the AMSA Board throughout their three-year terms, helping maintain Australia’s maritime safety and environmental protection capabilities in line with international best practice,” Mr McCormack said.

AMSA Chair Stuart Richey AM said he is delighted to welcome Dr Balkin and Mr Briggs to the AMSA Board and Mr Toohey’s return.

“These appointments add to the Board’s capabilities with significant expertise in maritime law and the operation of domestic commercial vessels to support our priorities such as the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety,” he said.

“I look forward to working together to ensure AMSA continues to be well positioned into the future to deliver our longstanding mission to ensure safe vessel operations, combat marine pollution and rescue people in distress.”