A new Regional Harbour Master will take the helm in Mackay.
Former Australian Border Force (ABF) Commanding Officer Jason Britton has been appointed to the role, and replace Captain Zainol Ahmad, who stepped down in May after almost 10 years in the role.
Mr Britton has local maritime safety regulator responsibility for an area stretching from Broadsound in the south to Gloucester Head in the north and also includes rivers, creeks and inland waterways stretching to the Northern Territory border.
Before his role in the ABF, Mr Britton’s background was largely in commercial shipping with Teekay Shipping Australia, where he commanded a variety of vessels up to 100,000 deadweight tonnes.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert welcomed Mr Britton and said his experience would bode well for a region with a complex mix of maritime activity ranging from bulk commercial shipping at Hay Point and Mackay, to marine tourism in the Whitsundays and recreational boating.
“We needed a Regional Harbour Master for Mackay who is, of course, passionate about maritime safety but also has a diverse range of experience and skills,” Mrs Gilbert said.
“Jason is the ideal fit. He possesses the traditional master mariner qualifications and leadership skills necessary to authoritatively play the safety regulator role in the commercial ports, but he also understands and is empathetic towards the needs of smaller operators.
“He has great communication skills that will help him to resolve the sorts of issues that can arise in a region diverse as ours.”
Mr Britton will start his role in Mackay on September 16.