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  • 29/01/2018 02:56 PM

    Port Authority centre stage for Australia Day 2018   

    As Sydney celebrated Australia Day 2018, Port Authority was working both front of house and behind the scenes to ensure the day ran smoothly.

    Sydney Harbour burst into life once again on 26 January as the city celebrated Australia Day 2018. Every year the harbour becomes the stage for a flotilla of ships of all sizes while the foreshore is abuzz with entertainment — and as a major sponsor of the event, Port Authority was in the middle of it all.

    Image: The tall ships pass by the Opera House on Australia Day 2018

    Circular Quay was the centre of celebrations for the first time and Port Authority’s Overseas Passenger Terminal became the operations centre for the whole event.

    The famous cruise terminal also held the stage for this year’s citizenship ceremony, and featured live music, street performers, food vendors and a wheelchair basketball tournament in the cargo hall.

    Image: Sydney Mayor Clover Moore presents the citizenship ceremony at the OPT

    Out on the water, Port Authority’s tug boat Shirley Smith was there to keep a watchful eye on proceedings and lead the tall ships and ferrython across the harbour.

    But while the city enjoyed the entertainment and the Australia Day Regatta, the oldest annual sailing regatta in the world that sees over 700 ships take to the harbour, Port Authority’s marine operations teams were on hand to make sure the day went smoothly.

    Image: Port Authority tug, Shirley Smith, dressed up for the occasion

    “While the port is closed to shipping movements during Australia Day, Port Authority still plays a critical role in ensuring operational safety in the lead up to the event, during and after,” says Jeanine, our general manager of marine operatoins and Deputy Harbour Master in Sydney.

    “It takes months of planning and fine-tuning to get an event like this up and running — especially one based around the challenging and unpredictable environment of the water. It takes an amazing team effort across all of our marine operations teams to ensure it all runs safely.”

    Image: A flare display in Circular Quay

    Port Authority provides a 24-hour emergency response for marine incidents in both Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay.

    With so many ships taking part for Australia Day, Port Authority’s crews were on standby to assist vessels in trouble or respond to reports of pollution, while in the radar station, Port Authority’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) team monitored the shipping channels to provide navigational and safety information to the hundreds of vessels on the water.

    Image: Circular Quay comes alive at nght for Australia Day 2018

    Following the day’s centrepiece, a maritime musical and dance extravaganza right in the middle of Circular Quay, Port Authority’s survey team were called in to make sure all the staging equipment had been removed from the water and seabed to make way for the return of the ferries and cruise ships.

    And then Port Authority was back to business as usual: transferring marine pilots to the Ovation of the Seas to guide her safely into the harbour.

    Find out more about the Australia Day 2018 celebrations