The Australian Border Force (ABF), in conjunction with NSW Police, Transport for NSW and the Department of Home Affairs, has carried out a high-visibility operation at Port Botany to ensure compliance in and around the port precinct.
On Tuesday (18 May 2021) ABF officers from NSW Maritime Operations met a vessel four miles off shore and escorted it to a wharf in Port Botany. The vessel was then boarded and searched with the assistance of the ABF Detector Dog Unit.
ABF officers conducted live compliance checks of 355 containers departing the wharf to ensure all had appropriate permissions, and targeted containers arriving from high-risk overseas ports for examination.
Officers from Aviation and Maritime Security (AMS) in the Department of Home Affairs, along with ABF officers, conducted 515 individual Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC) checks in and around Port Botany to ensure compliance with Commonwealth legislation.
As part of this operation, NSW Police and Transport for NSW, conducted vehicle stops on heavy vehicles transporting containers to and from the port precinct to check for vehicle compliance, conduct drug and alcohol tests and search vehicles using ABF Detector Dogs.
Transport for NSW inspected 146 vehicles with 28 defect notices being issued. Four drivers were issued with infringement notices and two vehicles were found to be above their allowed maximum weight.
ABF acting Commander Port Operations East, Brendan Slape said ensuring the security of Australia’s ports was a priority for the ABF.
“The ABF has a strong presence at Australia’s busy seaports. With thousands of containers arriving each day, ABF officers are committed to keeping the economy moving, while also ensuring the integrity of the supply chain,” Commander Slape said.
“This successful operation highlights the ABF’s dedication to work with our State and Commonwealth partners to deter and disrupt illegal activity and criminal infiltration at the nation’s ports.”
A spokesperson from Transport NSW commented on the consequences of non-compliance.
“Defect notices and infringements issued during this compliance operation at the port are yet another reminder for the owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehicles that they must know what the rules are and comply with them.
“Transport for NSW will continue to promote compliance so that we have a safer road network for all who use it, including the heavy vehicle industry and those who drive for a living,” a Transport NSW spokesperson said.
Department of Home Affairs, Assistant Secretary, Maritime, Transport Security Operations, Craig Riviere, said this was a great example of State and Commonwealth agencies working together to ensure the security of Australia’s largest port.
“Maintaining a strong, comprehensive and sustainable approach to transport security is an operational priority for AMS,” he said.
“Non-compliance with the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Act can result in large fines, suspension or cancellation of authorisations or prosecution.”