AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Vaile hails MSIC progress but admits shortfalls

<p>While 57,000 Maritime Security Identification Card applicants made the October 27 cut-off, 9,000 &#8220late applications&#8221 were still being processed, federal transport minister Mark Vaile said yesterday (Tuesday, December 20). </p> <p>Congratulating the Australian maritime industry, Mr Vaile said: "Introducing the MSIC has been a tremendous success for both the maritime industry and the Government.</p> <p>"More than 57,000 maritime industry workers submitted their MSIC applications before the October 27, deadline, and the Government has approved over 56,000 MSICs for issue by issuing bodies. </p> <p>&#8220An additional 9,000 late applications are being processed as promptly as possible.</p> <p>"As a transitional measure, the Department of Transport and Regional Services will provide temporary passes to those who applied for their MSIC before October 27, but have not yet received it.</p> <p>"Given the number of people affected by this project, the Government is working with port authorities to ease the transition for those who may have missed the news about the need to have an MSIC.&#8221</p> <p>Mr Vaile’s statement came as industry concern mounted in the two weeks before the January 1 implementation.</p> <p>Industry and the Government will need to work closely throughout most of January to get all outstanding applications through &#8220the system&#8221, the Victorian Transport Association has asserted, and to arm as many wharf workers as possible with the real thing to maintain&#8224port productivity.</p> <p>The VTA was also concerned the lag between applying for a replacement card and having a new card reissued would render &#8224workers effectively unemployable in wharf cartage.</p> <p>The association has called for a practical way for ID and&#8224access to be maintained in &#8220bone fide&#8221 MSIC replacement circumstances, while maintaining the integrity of the regime, and the security considerations &#8224of port facility operators such as Patrick and DP World.</p> <p>"This is going to be a continuing problem," VTA spokesman Neil Chambers said, "although how large the problem will be is difficult to gauge. &#8220</p> <br />