Melbourne – Draft Economic Development Strategy 2021

Offshore & Specialist Ships Australia

Topical Issues

Melbourne – Draft Economic Development Strategy 2021


4th June 2021

Offshore & Specialist Ships Australia (OSSA) fully supports the initiative and vision for Melbourne to be a global leader in job and enterprise creation.

We have read your draft strategy which is very good but it does totally overlook one major attribute of Melbourne that has been and will continue to be a backbone of the economic growth of Melbourne and Victoria – The Maritime Industry!

The maritime industry is extensive incorporating:
Port of Melbourne (largest port in Australia)
Passenger shipping (at iconic Station Pier)
Ferry operations (and a great opportunity to increase usage of the city’s waterways) Stevedoring

Regulatory operations (Police, Marine board, surveyors etc)
Navy – Training at HMAS Cerberus, high technology development Fishermens Bend Ship agency, legal, insurance, ship broking functions
Recreational Boating – power and sail
Boat building & repair
Training (TAFEs)
Heritage (museum, heritage fleet, etc)

There is great opportunity to make Melbourne (and Victoria) the pre-eminent centre for the Maritime industry in Australia. We should grasp this moment and run with it.

Melbournians are mostly unaware of the value the maritime business brings to the city. It is hardly ever mentioned as an economic input. Opportunities such as:

  • Schools – rarely mention career opportunities available. OSSA has attempted to arrest

    this oversight through their schools program (

    school-program/) but it needs much more support.

  • TAFE training is spasmodically available. Other states have a united TAFE system

    whereas Victoria TAFE system is locally competitive. There is a need for the City to unite

    the TAFE system to collaborate on maritime training.

  • Ferries. Stronger use of the city’s waterways should be examined. Melbourne has a

    wonderful opportunity to build tourism and commuter services. OSSA is aware of work

    being undertaken by the Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network (MMHN) in this area.

  • Central Pier in Victoria Harbour has both a great Heritage value, is close to the city

    centre and transport and is the ideal place to develop an Experiential Maritime Centre of global significance. The MMHN has done much work on this and could be called upon to draft a report.

  • Navy – future demands will be far more reliant on high technology. Forge even closer links to utilise Fishermen’s Bend as an Australian Hub. Potentially work with AMC (Australian Maritime College) to develop further knowledge training.


Other areas that need to be examined such as the overlapping levels of Authorities managing maritime matters in Melbourne and the State should be examined so as to eliminate confusion and red tape along the lines of the Strategy Draft:

Deliver an enhanced Business Concierge service that will assist city businesses to navigate council processes and regulations and be the first port of call for business enquiries.

Perhaps for the maritime industry this could read:

Together with the Victorian Government work towards development of a single maritime Authority to streamline regulatory processes and be the first port of call for business enquiries

OSSA is passionate about the maritime industry, past, present and particularly the FUTURE. We would be very pleased to discuss this further.


Ross Brewer Chairman