Tandara Spirit Statement

26 November 2014

Viva Energy Australia is aware that the crew of the Tandara Spirit, employed by Teekay Australia, is abiding by a Fair Work Commission ruling to return the vessel to Singapore for re-delivery to its owners.

Viva Energy has secured new supply contracts and next year, the vast majority of the fuel produced at Geelong Refinery will be sold and delivered into the local Victorian market. Consequently, Viva Energy no longer needs a dedicated vessel to ship fuel out of Victoria.

The Tandara Spirit was a dedicated coastal vessel on time charter and it will not be replaced. It does not make sense to continue to hire a dedicated coastal vessel at a cost of tens of millions of dollars if the need has substantially reduced.

Selling more fuel from Geelong Refinery into Victoria is good for the refinery and important to build a sustainable manufacturing business.

This time last year the refinery’s future – and the employment of 450 refinery workers and hundreds of contractors – was under a cloud of uncertainty and now that the refinery has passed into Viva Energy’s hands the company intends to create a successful, profitable business that benefits our employees, the Geelong community and the Victorian economy.

If Viva Energy needs to charter a vessel from Geelong Refinery, it will be on a spot charter basis. Under this process, the company must abide by the regulations under the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012, which includes an obligation to hire an Australian crewed vessel if suitable and available.

Australia wide, Viva Energy applies for and uses temporary licences and this includes transporting specialty products, such as chemicals and bitumen, to multiple ports. Again, the company must abide by the regulations under the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012.

Viva Energy has a rigorous ship vetting process that not only examines the safety record of each ship, but involves a physical inspection of the vessel by highly qualified inspectors before they are chartered. This process is in addition to the statutory inspections undertaken by bodies such as the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Viva Energy requires vessel operators to comply with all applicable legislation including the Maritime Labour Convention. Our charter contracts specifically require vessel officers and crew to be covered by a bona fide trade union agreement that ensures crews are paid wages acceptable to the International Transport Workers Federation.

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* Quotes can be attributed to Jessica Marriner, spokesperson, Viva Energy Australia