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Incident Control Room
(see story below)

Senior Maritime Officer, Marine Environment Protection Unit

Location of position: Queensland Government, Maritime Safety Queensland (opportunities include all state/territory governments and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority as well as private salvage and response companies in Australia and internationally).

Marine area that you work covers: Queensland coastal waters including the Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait and rivers (all of Australian waters).

General duties: Planning, developing policy, education & awareness (schools, general public & shipping/maritime Industry), keeping abreast of new treaties and regulations (IMO resolutions etc), responding to ship incidents.

Relevant qualifications for this type of work: Must have interest in marine environment protection, usually some maritime knowledge/background/interest. No real qualifications are required however a background in environment, legal or operational such as fitter & turner, coxswain, Master Class 1 is advantageous. The unit is made up of a mix of qualifications. You will receive a lot of on the job expertise and experience.

Other: Responding and managing ship groundings, responding and managing pollution, developing education material to improve awareness of marine pollution on the marine environment for everyone, improving legislation and regulations to allow for the better protection of the marine environment, prosecution of offenders.

Short Story: Queensland has a vast coastline, some of which is particularly vulnerable to pollution. Oil is still the major form of marine pollution, but chemicals, sewage and garbage are becoming an increasing threat. Our job in the Marine Environment Protection Unit, of Maritime Safety Queensland is to protect Queensland's marine and coastal environment by minimizing discharges of pollution from ships. In Queensland we have the special job of protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

One of our jobs is to educate people on the importance of the marine environment and how to better protect it. This includes attending boat shows and other exhibitions and talking to people on how to improve their behavior. A lot of time is spend developing brochures, posters and marketing material to get the information out.

Another of our jobs is to plan and respond to marine incidents that may cause marine pollution. An example of this is the recent grounding of the Container ship 'Bunga Teratai Satu' in the Great Barrier Reef.


'Bunga Teratai Satu' grounded on Sudbury Reef 2000
All different types of people worked on the incident. Response staff, including coxswains and boat crew put the special booms around the ship incase oil leaked from the ship. Response staff, including managers and administration people managed the incident in the control room.

Responders preparing the
containment boom

Finally after 2 weeks stuck on the reef, the ship had refloated. There had been no oil pollution - it was a success. There was some damage to the reef where the ship had hit, but hopefully it will regenerate in the years to come.


Every State and Territory in Australia has a similar group that protects the marine environment. You can contact them and get more information on what your state/territory does by visiting the following websites:



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