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Bulker Banned from Australian Ports

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Following revelations of crew members being purposely underpaid, the Hong Kong bulk carrier MV Shandong Hai Wang will not be able to visit Australia for a year.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), who sanctioned the ban, discovered the alleged discrepancies in staff wages July 6, after receiving information from the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

During an investigation, which began on 7 July, AMSA surveyors found that the crew were not paid a total of $41,300 (AU$ 56,000), breaching the International Transport Workers’ Federation the Maritime Labour Convention’s legislation on seafarers' rights to decent working conditions.

Although released from detention and confirmation about the payment of outstanding wages, the AMSA has still decided to issue a discretion notice, banning the ship from Australian shores for the next 12 months.

Allan Schwartz, AMSA’s General Manager of Operations, stated: “The international conventions that protect seafarers' rights are very clear. This is the fourth time in the last year that a ship has been banned from Australian ports for underpaying crew.

“Ships visiting Australian ports are put on notice. The next ship we find deliberately and repeatedly underpaying its crew and attempting to deceive authorities, can expect an even more severe penalty than that handed to the Shandong Hai Wang.”

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