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Madang yet to roll out SCA - Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority

Despite 30 percent of the national total of maritime safety incidents occurring in the province, Madang Province, with only seven percent of the national population, is the only province within the Momase region that has yet to establish a Small Craft Registration Board in order to roll out the Small Craft Act (SCA) within the province.

This was revealed during the Momase small craft implementation review workshop whereby more 30 participants attended in Lae, Morobe Province.

Whilst all the other provinces of East & West Sepik & Morobe including Northern (Oro) have established their respective boards and registries and are currently implementing the SCA.

The two-day workshop which was organised by the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) Small Craft Officer, Willie Kolip, provided an opportunity for the participants to provide a comprehensive report of their respective provinces’ achievements & challenges as well as the difficulties & constraints.

The workshop was told that Madang Province has yet to establish a Board. However, shortly after the workshop, the relevant provincial representatives are currently working on putting together a submission to its provincial executive council for deliberation.

The other provinces that have successfully rolled out the SCA are currently registering small crafts, issuing load regulations for cargoes as well as passengers and distributing of life jackets only to those boat owners and operators who are registered under the Small Craft Registration Boards in their respective provinces.

Since the gazettal of the SCA in 2015 and its roll out, to date, 12 out of the 15 Maritime Provinces have establish their respective Small Craft Registration Boards & Registry Offices.

Of the 12 provinces, eight provinces of West Sepik, East Sepik, Oro, Milne Bay, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, West New Britain & East New Britain have actually commenced registration whilst the other four provinces of New Ireland, Manus, Western & National Capital District are yet to be in operation due to being recently established by their Provincial Executive Council (PEC) and Administration.

The other two remaining provinces to fully implement this legislation are Central & Gulf provinces.

NMSA, with funding from Australian Aid, through the Transport Sector Support Program, has provided in 14 provinces, training, administrative support, office refurbishment, IT, safety equipment, and community awareness activities. Since the Act was gazetted over 600 small craft officials and police have been trained in administering and enforcing the Act. Over 20 community awareness sessions have been conducted and 10,000 small craft safety brochures, posters and booklets distributed. A boat operator in Milne Bay Province was convicted of a serious Small Craft offence and sentenced for 5 years under the SCA.

The workshop was told that despite assistance from NMSA, some provinces still face with difficulties & constraints either with their respective administration or PEC to establish their registries and boards in order to fully implement this law.

NMSA is indeed overwhelmed with the achievements of these provinces and welcomes the difficulties and challenges for Madang province and is willing to assist where possible to establish its board & registry to start the roll out the SCA in its province.

The New Guinea Islands regional workshop will be staged on the 13 & 14 of this month at the Liamo Reef Resort in Kimbe, West New Britain Province.

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