CSL Thevenard leaves Australian waters

By: Rob McKay

Locally flagged ship’s future unclear as exit incenses union

CSL Thevenard leaves Australian waters
The CSL Thevenard is headed for China


One of the few ships of any flag that calls at the South Australian port of Thevenard is destined to spend an indeterminate time in China.

The CSL Thevenard, operated by Canadian Steamship Lines (CSL) on coastal routes and therefore using an Australian crew, is on its way and, backed by opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is furious.

The MUA says the venerable vessel , understood to be 36 years old and therefore close to the end of its productive life, "recently sailed to China, purportedly for dry-docking, but the Aussie crew members were notified yesterday of their sacking and given their flights home".

"The MUA is disgusted at the Turnbull Government’s wilful indifference to the plight of Australian seafarers and the transport minister must immediately cease issuing temporary licenses under the Coastal Trading ACT," MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin says

The CSL move is not another complication to miner Iluka’s South Australian operations.

Though Iluka is already looking for options for its domestic mineral sands transport from western South Australia after jetty use was suspended due to structural weakness, the company tells ATN it uses another CSL ship, the Donnacona, for that task.

Iluka last used the CSL Thevenard in 2011 but it called at its namesake for in May.

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