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Queensland group aims to reduce marine risk

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Whitsundays broker Maria Dwyer has helped form a group to reduce marine risk in the region.

The MD of Oceanic Marine Risks says in recent months two major recreational insurers have withdrawn from areas north of Hervey Bay.

This prompted formation of the Whitsunday Marine Risk Management Group.

Its first step is to work with insurers and government agencies to develop a code of conduct encouraging commercial crew and recreational boat owners to adhere to best practice in preparing for severe weather events.

“After consulting with the Whitsunday region’s leading marine surveyors and learning from their observations of Cyclone Debbie, we concluded there was no such thing as basic seamanship any more,” Ms Dwyer told

“We have already held discussions with Maritime Safety Queensland and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and are confident they see value in what we are aiming to achieve.”

The group’s steering committee includes Oceanic Marine Risks and representatives from Abell Point Marina, the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association and the Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Association.

Ms Dwyer believes the group may provide a template for other regions.

“There is no reason why our work cannot be used as a pilot for other areas on the Queensland coast, so we are encouraging as many of our northern and southern neighbours to join us in our fight to mitigate marine risks.”

For more information about the group, email