MPSC Communique - November 2011

​​Notes from MPSC 02 – 10 November 2011

Note from the MPSC Chair

The Marine Pest Sectoral Committee (MPSC) held its second meeting in Brisbane (QLD) on the 10th of November 2011. This meeting was the first after agreeing our new administrative and operational arrangements and was well attended, successfully driving several new agenda items.

I was impressed with the turn out at the Industry Workshop on the day before the formal government MPSC meeting. Industry has been a strong supporter of our previous committee the National Introduced Marine Pests Coordination Group (NIMPCG) helping to drive significant marine pest management reforms and it was appreciated to have the key marine stakeholder representatives attend again to hear their views and incorporate them in our decision making.

The most important aspect raised by the industry was the transparency of our committee’s work. Whilst industry is not a voting member on the MPSC, I agree with their sentiment and the committee will endeavour to involve them and their views. Some structural changes to the communication of agenda items will occur in the future with a minimum number of ‘government only’ papers pursued. My view is that working with industry has been, and will remain the key to our success.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the MPSC jurisdictional representatives who became members and Chairs of the new working groups. With such a depth and diversity of experience in the committee, much can be gained from us all getting involved and sharing the workload. Where liquid financial resources are stretched for our committee’s dispensation nationally, in–kind resources are less so and the more assistance we get from jurisdictions to collaboratively assist in writing papers, get involved in working groups and help to communicate the results the better. It should be noted that jurisdictions can nominate working group members from outside of their department. This option is being exercised already in several working groups which can potentially free up some time for MPSC representatives whilst still having their jurisdiction represented in the development process.

Thank you to Frank Keenan from Biosecurity Queensland for arranging the meeting venue and the Port of Brisbane field trip. It was engaging to see the land reclamation being undertaken, the new hi–tech buildings and the un–manned stevedoring infrastructure changes which were truly inspiring.

Finally, I would like to thank the members who have supported my nomination to Chair the MPSC and Freshwater Invertebrates Subcommittee (FISC). It’s a giant task, one that is complicated by our limited financial resources but it is a role that I am enjoying and endeavouring to make waves nationally.

Dr Michael Sierp
Chair MPSC02

Meeting Notes

Industry Workshop and field trip

Prior to the second Marine Pest Sectoral Committee meeting (MPSC02), an Industry Consultation Workshop was held on 9 November 2011 to build and strengthen relationships between representatives from shipping, the petroleum industry, Ports Australia, marine consulting companies, and government, and to hear industry views on the MPSC02 agenda items. Attendees of the Workshop requested greater transparency of the Committee’s work and that jurisdictional activities receive higher priority in the Workshop agenda. These comments were raised again by the Chair and agreed to by Committee Members during MPSC02.

Presentations provided workshop attendees with insight into governance and technological advancements in marine management. Recent amendments to Annex V of the “International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973” (prevention of pollution by garbage) were discussed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. Then an emerging technology in the field of in–water hull treatments, Heat Shock Technology, was introduced by Mark Luchetti from Thomas & Coffey Marine.

The workshop finished with a field trip to the Port of Brisbane, where attendees were informed about local infrastructure, expansion and biodiversity projects.

IMO–MEPC 62 Update

The Australian Government representative provided the Committee with an update on the 62nd session of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) held in London from the 11th of July 2011.

The MEPC made significant progress on ballast water issues by adopting the “Procedure for approving Other Methods of ballast water management” in accordance with regulation B–3.7 of the Ballast Water Management Convention. Additionally, two new ballast water treatment systems gained final approval for the active substance used or produced by those systems.

Increasing global concern about biofouling as a mechanism for the movement and establishment of marine pests was addressed by the adoption of the “Guidelines for the Control and Management of Ships’ Biofouling to Minimise the Transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species”. Australia has had voluntary domestic biofouling management guidelines since 2009 and is now considering additional biofouling management measures.

National Biosecurity Committee: freshwater invertebrates

As a result of National Biosecurity Committee decisions in October 2011, MPSC responsibilities have been expanded to include the environmental risks associated with freshwater invertebrates.

In recognition of the different issues and stakeholder base for marine and freshwater pests, MPSC agreed to establish a separate Freshwater Invertebrates Subcommittee (FISC), which will report to NBC through MPSC. Arrangements for the subcommittee will be developed over the coming year and presented at MPSC04.

Aquaculture Guidelines

The Committee agreed to establish a working group to finalise the “National Biofouling Management Guidelines for Aquaculture”. The working group will be chaired by Michael Sierp and members will include industry and jurisdictional representatives.

Marine pest guidance for Marinas and Slipways

The Committee recognised the need to re–engage with the marina and slipway sectors about marine pest issues to reduce spread of the pests and to provide opportunities for early identification of an incursion. Accordingly, the Committee will establish a Working Group to review the “National Best Practice Biofouling Guidelines for Nodes, Boat Harbours, Marinas and Boat Maintenance Facilities”, as well asthe draft framework for communicating these guidelines to the marina and slipway sectors in the future.

National Monitoring Network (MNM)

Monitoring has been completed in Darwin Harbour and Port Adelaide and has commenced at NMN and non–NMN locations including Portland (Victoria); Fremantle, Port Headland, Port Dampier and Cape Lambert (Western Australia) and Skardon River (Queensland). Monitoring is also expected to commence at Albany, Bunbury and Esperance and Mandurah in Western Australia.

The Committee agreed to review the NMN locations for consistency with risk at MPSC03 in May.

Research and Development

The Committee recognised that taxonomic capabilities in Australia are central to the success of the National System and that demand for marine pest identification services is likely to increase with greater National and International awareness of marine pest issues. A working group was established to review current marine pest identification systems with the aim of improving utilisation and identifying knowledge gaps. The working group will consider the validity of developing an identification clearing house service for marine species in Australia.

The Committee also noted continued progress towards the review of the Introduced Marine Pest Research and Development Strategy 2006–2016, which will ensure that the strategy continues to reflect appropriate priorities for marine pest research and development support.

Member reports

MPSC members provided jurisdictional reports summarising whole–of–government activities related to marine pest biosecurity activities in each member jurisdiction.
Key activities reported to MPSC02 included:

  • The development of a collaborative research program between SA and WA to study the use of IMP protector boat sleeves on recreational and commercial vessels.
  • Progress by WA towards finalising its Certificate IV Biofouling Inspectors Course, which is expected to be offered from mid–2012 to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of vessel biofouling inspections.
  • Continued roll–out of marine pest awareness campaign materials from the Tasmanian, NSW, Northern Territory and WA governments targeting the marine service industry and a range of industry and recreational sectors.

Upcoming Meetings

The Committee agreed that MPSC meetings will rotate around the jurisdictions with upcoming meetings planned as follows:

MPSC03: 17 May 2012 in Cronulla NSW
MPSC04: October 2012 in WA

Members’ contact details

Michael Sierp
( Chair– MPSC 02)

South Australia

Biosecurity SA
08 8207 7838

Karina Scott

Australian Government

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry


Anne Ferguson

Australian Government

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Jane Frances

New South Wales

Department of Primary Industries
02 4916 3877

Murray Barton

Northern Territory

Department of Resources

Frank Keenan


Biosecurity Queensland
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation

Vic Neverauskas

South Australia

Biosecurity SA

Simon Smith


Department of Sustainability and Environment

Rae Burrows

Western Australia

Department of Fisheries

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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