Victorian Maritime Capability and Heritage

Offshore & Specialist Ships Australia

Topical Issues

MMHN and OSSA congratulates all candidates in the 2022 Victorian Election.

Victorian Maritime Capability and Heritage.

Victoria, once the leading maritime state in Australia has fallen well behind.

Whilst Melbourne is the largest general goods port in Australia as a State we do not recognise or support the industry that has brought so much prosperity to Victoria and Australia.

Victoria used to boast of having the best seafarers in Australia. Sadly this is no more as with this general malaise towards the maritime industry our seafarer training has disappeared. A lack of initiative has allowed this training to flow to other states. Victoria (and Australia) desperately need experienced certificated seafarers. There is a current shortage of around 700 officers and growing. Globally there is a shortage of 70-80,000 officers.

Maritime history is packed away and forgotten

• The once proud “Polly Woodside” is in great disrepair and no longer regularly

open to the public.

  • Central Pier in Docklands is to be demolished. Victoria Dock was the busiest
    port facility in Australia
  • Will Station Pier fall into this same lethargy once the TT Ferry moves to
    Geelong? Often dubbed the “Ellis Island” of Australia as this is where so many immigrants began their new life on coming to Australia. We must ensure it’s future not only for its heritage but it is vital in order to welcome the cruise liners and their passengers to Melbourne.
  • Williamstown is a gem – but in need of focus to highlight their wonderful maritime history.
    We live in troubling times. Australia’s maritime resilience, sovereign sustainability and national economic and security future depends on the Federal and State governments halting the decline in the Australian flagged ship fleet. Victoria must be a leader in this and so we urge all candidates to sit up and take notice and to give support to making this happen.

Specifically we urge you to support:


• School Children. Create an environment where school children can learn of the

history and the many and varied career opportunities the maritime industry can


• Training facilities. 

Encourage change in our TAFE system to support one

another instead of competing. We are the only state that has this competitive


• Cadet Support. 

New entrants require years of training which is not subsidised in

Victoria. Western Australia and Queensland provide many millions to help recognising their future requirements for experience. Victoria, particularly with the Offshore Wind Farms, will have a great seafarer demand and we must start training now!

Taxation Policy reform –

Whilst recognising this is a Federal government matter uncompetitive tax arrangements make it uncommercial for Australian ship owners to operate. Align Australia’s tax regime more closely with that of other maritime nations. i.e., Use tax reform to incentivise all shipowners and enhance their competitive position. More ships also means more training capability.


Station Pier. Recognise the heritage status of Station Pier, upgrade the cruise terminal and establish an Immigration Museum

Mission to Seafarers Building. Enshrine the current Seafarer Welfare operation and create a Melbourne Maritime hub complete with upgraded facilities. Southbank Maritime Heritage Precinct.Create a distinct Maritime Precinct across from the evolving Seafarers Rest Park on North Bank thus elevating the status of the “Polly Woodside” and halting its current degeneration.

Maritime Experience Centre (MEC) in Docklands an iconic, architecturally significant structure using new media to present maritime heritage both indigenous and colonial, marine research, maritime industry new energy, aquaculture etc

For further information please see our websites:

Ross Brewer


Offshore & Specialist Ships Australia Ltd

Hon. Martin Dixon


Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network