941 - 02/14 - Veneer protests - Australia

Members with vessels visiting Hobart to load Veneer or timber products should be aware of a risk of protests from environmental groups.


The club has been made aware of at least three incidents in the last two years when activists from an environmental group have taken action against vessels loading timber at Hobart.  Although these disturbances have occurred infrequently, there is currently some indication that protests against the timber trade might take place.


In the past, protesters have entered the port using canoes and protested by boarding ships and chaining themselves to the cranes and parts of the superstructure causing a disruption in cargo operations.


In addition to usual security precautions, members are advised to:


-  Ensure access points are reduced to a minimum & unnecessary points such as over-side pilot ladders etc are secured.

-  Gangway watch strictly maintained through the stay, including a watch at the bottom at the gangway. Gangway may be raised when not in use.

-  Vessels cranes, when not is use, should be parked or overhanging away from the wharf.

-  Ships crane access to be closed / locked at all times when not in use.


Crew tasked with security should be made aware that Australian law does not permit them to act violently towards activists attempting to access the vessel. Crew who do so may face prosecution. However, they may defend themselves if they feel physically threatened.


There is a possibility of engaging a local security boat at the port, for obtaining which, correspondents may assist the members.


Source of information


Anuj Velankar

UK P&I Club Loss Prevention Dept




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