International seafarers are being encouraged to exercise their right to shore leave while in Australian Ports by Port Welfare Committees around the country.
COVID-19 restrictions on shore leave no longer apply, but many ship captains or owners are seeking to restrict crews’ ability to leave the vessel while berthed alongside Australian wharves.
Masters and agents who refuse shore leave to crew are in breach of the Maritime Labor Convention and should remember that their actions while alongside at an Australian port may be investigated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
Shore leave and access to shore-based welfare facilities at all Australian ports is essential to seafarer physical and mental health recovery.
Companies, owners and masters of ships are reminded of the requirement under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC, 2006) of the importance of approval of shore leave and access to medical attention as required.