Nautilus Federation of Australia                                                                                         

(posted 03 07 18)

 The Nautilus Federation of Australia has taken another step forward as senior officials of the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers and the Australian Maritime Officers Union met in AIMPE offices in Melbourne on Monday 25th June.

Nautilus Federation of Australia Operations Committee - from left to right:

AMOU President Capt Tim Higgs;

AIMPE Federal President Martin Byrne;

AIMPE Federal Treasurer Ian McAllister; and

AMOU Executive Director Mark Davis.

Top on the list of matters for discussion is office sharing for the two unions’ operations around Australia. 

The officials have set target dates for relocations in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle which will see both unions operating from the same address in each of these three ports.

The moves will provide cost savings for both unions and is also intended to provide for closer integration of working relations between the two officer unions.

A revised Memorandum of Understanding was signed by AMOU President, Capt. Tim Higgs and AIMPE Federal President Mr. Martin Byrne which deals with the relocations and with possible further co-location arrangements in Brisbane, Newcastle and other ports.

The Nautilus Federation of Australia has also discussed opportunities for joint campaigning on key issues relating to the interests of Australian Deck and Engineer Officers.

Sharing space in the WA union rooms.

The AMOU in Western Australia is refurbishing its Fremantle premises. Whilst this occurs the AMOU will share the Institute's Stock Road Palmyra premises; beginning on Monday 26 March for expected duration of five weeks.

Our island nation must right the ship on sea power

Josh Wilson - Federal Labor member for Fremantle; read the story here: Shipping Josh Wilson Shipping Josh Wilson (10.31 KB)

DOF Labour agreement rejected by AIMPE & AMOU

AIMPE objects to DOF proposed labour agreement. View objection here: AIMPE objection to DOF proposal AIMPE objection to DOF proposal (482.53 KB)

and view Dynamic Positioning Training here: DP Training course DP Training course (810.59 KB)

AMOU rejection can be viewed here: AMOU respond to DOF Labour proposal AMOU respond to DOF Labour proposal (869.41 KB)


Nautilus Federation Report

- questions safety of Autonomous Shipping.

Read the report here: 

future_proofed.pdf future_proofed.pdf (5.74 MB)


Toxic chemical linked to Navy veteran's Parkinson's now posing danger to some Australian suburbs

Keith Bailey spent 36 years in the Australian Navy and rose to the rank of commander, but his service to the country came at great personal cost.

The Navy has conceded it left him with Parkinson's disease as a result of exposure to the industrial solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE.

"When I joined the Navy in '67 I didn't have Parkinson's, and when I left in 2003 I did have Parkinson's," Mr Bailey said.

"So whatever it was that caused Parkinson's happened on their watch."

In 2016 the Department of Veterans' Affairs formally recognised exposure to TCE as a cause of Parkinson's.

Mr Bailey believed he was the first Australian veteran to have such a claim approved.

"If you had 2,000 hours' exposure to trichloroethylene, there was a reasonable hypothesis that your Parkinson's was caused by trichloroethylene," he said.

Mr Bailey said TCE was in an ingredient in a metal cleaner called Turco Solv, which he used on ships to clean motor parts.

"The workshop was down a few decks, so it was enclosed," he said.

"When you stripped a motor you got it all over your overalls. You'd be working 10- to 12-hour days.

"When you finished your day you had the grease all over you. You'd wash yourself down in Turco Solv, so you'd use it to get the grease off your body as well."

Diamond Offshore, BHP & EXPRO have a run-in with NOPSEMA. 

The following from the Weekend West Australian 20-21 Jan 2018

We should all be relieved Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Monarch drilling rigabout 9km off City Beach is between jobs.

The offshore oil and gas safety regulator NOPSEMA has come down hard on Diamond Offshore for venting gas to areas where it put workers at risk while working to abandon wells at BHP’s Griffin oil field mid last year.

After the first occurrence in June, “no actions were taken to stop work and re-assess the risk”, and the dangerous venting was repeated during at least three more well abandonments. Diamond did make some changes to the equipment after the first well, but there was “inadequate management of modifications of safety critical equipment”.

EXPRO, which handled the well fluid for BHP, was also bought to task. BHP, which was in control, did not escape the regulator’s wrath. Its people also failed to stop the work and, after finding deficiencies in the testing of EXPRO’s equipment, did nothing about it.

Diamond and EXPRO were issued improvement notices by NOPSEMA last month after the regulator finished its inquiries.

BHP senior management has to front up and explain to NOPSEMA how they have changed their ways.

The Bull understands the Ocean Monarch will be towed away next month for work in the Bass Strait for Cooper Energy. Let’s hope all is safe this time.



It has been brought to AIMPE's attention that Hunter TAFE has pulled down Marine Engineering courses from its website, without so much as a courtesy call to your Institute to explain why.

Disturbingly, only Deck Officer Training remains.

Your AIMPE understands the courses are still being run but, inexplicably, all advertising has been removed.

Please find below, links to AIMPE's own copies of these removed Marine Engineering courses:

 Advanced Diploma Marine Engineering Class 2

 Diploma Engineer Watchkeeper

 Diploma Class 3 NC

 Statement of Attainment Steam/Diesel Class 2

 Proficiency in Survival Craft STCW

 Revalidation Certificate Of Competency

 Marine Engineering AMSA Oral Exam Preparation

 Operation & Maintenance of Marine Electrical Systems


The front page story on the Sun Herald and the Sunday Age newspapers on 3rd September 2017 has exposed the rort that is taking place with the subclass 400 visa.

When the Federal Government changed the 457 visa scheme in April 2017 Ships Engineers were removed from the list of occupations that were open for temporary workers to come to Australia.

Now it has been revealed that the subclass 400 visa is being used by some Offshore vessel operators as a substitute for the 457 visa.

This can only be described as a sneaky and manipulative use of political power.

AIMPE will continue campaigning against this abuse of power. As we did with the 457 visa scam, AIMPE will use every avenue available to stop these visas being issued while there are unemployed AIMPE members ready willing and able to work on  these vessels.


AIMPE Statement on working together with the AMOU

The Federal Council of the AIMPE and the Executive Council of the AMOU have decided that the two organisations will work more closely together in future with the objective of providing better, more effective service to the members of both unions.

The Councils met jointly on Wednesday 14th June in Newcastle to discuss the possibility of working more closely together. This meeting followed discussions between the Federal Presidents of both organisations (Terry Snee, AIMPE & Tim Higgs, AMOU) earlier in the year.

The Nautilus Federation of Australia is a name that has been reserved to be used in areas of joint co-operation although no final decision has been made about the form of any new legal entity to be established. Both unions have affiliated with the international officer unions’ organisation Nautilus Federation and so it seems logical that a similar name should be used for local co-operation.

The two unions will remain as separate Registered Organisations under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act and will retain their own assets. Joint activities will be funded on a 50/50 basis. Examples of possible steps to be considered include the sharing of office facilities, joint representation [where authorised] and joint officer meetings on board ships [based on a show of cards] and joint enterprise bargaining meetings. However separate Enterprise Agreements for each union will remain the AIMPE policy 

There are many areas where AIMPE and AMOU have different systems and procedures in place [e.g. different reporting periods, different fee structures and different database systems] and these will be retained at least initially. These and other areas have been identified as possible areas for future change to bring about alignment where this may delivery efficiencies.

It is anticipated that there will be a further joint AIMPE / AMOU Executive meeting before the end of 2017 to assess progress on joint co-operation steps.

Terry Snee                                                                         

Federal President, AIMPE