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Year ban for bulk carrier which underpaid crew more than $21k

Aerial view of the Gladstone Harbour.Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Aerial view of the Gladstone Harbour.Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer Brenda Strong GLA110713PLAN

A BULK carrier has been banned from Australia for a year after it was caught out while in Gladstone underpaying its crew in excess of $21,000 per month.

An Australian Maritime Safety Authority surveyor attended the Panama- flagged DL Carnation after a complaint was made via the International Transport Workers' Federation seven days ago alleging discrepancies in the crews' wages.

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It was discovered there were two sets of wage accounts, covering up the underpayment of crew.

A comparison of the accounts showed the crew were being underpaid by more than $21,000 per month with records found reflecting this back to at least April this year.

An AMSA surveyor attended the vessel in Gladstone and found one of the two accounts showed the amount of pay the crew should have received, and the other showed what they were actually receiving.

The vessel was immediately detained for breaching the Maritime Labour Convention.

AMSA's General Manager of Operations Allan Schwartz said keeping two sets of accounts was extremely concerning.

"By maintaining multiple accounts of wages it demonstrates a knowledge and intent to not only withhold wages but to also actively deceive authorities," Mr Schwartz said.

"This is completely unacceptable behaviour and will not be tolerated in Australia."

AMSA received confirmation on September 14 the outstanding wages had been received by the crew and the vessel was released from detention at 2.30 pm.

Upon releasing the vessel from detention, AMSA issued the master a direction notice banning the DL Carnation from entering or using any Australian port for 12 months.

"For a first breach, AMSA's response would normally be to detain the vessel until the problem is rectified," Mr Schwartz said.

"In this case, given the concerning existence of fake accounts and the intent to deceive authorities, AMSA has decided to issue a 12 month ban to the DL Carnation and will increase inspections for all other vessels belonging to this company."

Topics:  australian maritime safety authority bulk carrier gladstoneindustry



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