The Edwards Boatyard, the world’s largest boatyard, has come under fire after the Australian government announced it was planning to close it.
The controversial boats were built by Italian company Ventura and are used in many of Australia’s commercial and recreational vessels.
The boats are often used for recreational purposes, including fishing, boating and scuba diving, and are a popular tourist attraction.
Edwards’ president, Tim O’Neill, was the first to publicly criticise the decision, saying the boats had been “used as a dumping ground for waste, debris and rubbish”.
The boats, which are manufactured by Ventura, are seen in this handout picture from the Ventura website in Italy.
O’Sullivan, who has owned the boatyard since 1987, said the company was a victim of a “mismanagement of trust” by the Abbott Government.
“The Government of Australia should be ashamed of itself,” he said.
“There are very few boats in the world that have such an impact on the environment as the Venturas and they should be put out of business.” “
The boats have been the subject of numerous environmental complaints. “
There are very few boats in the world that have such an impact on the environment as the Venturas and they should be put out of business.”
The boats have been the subject of numerous environmental complaints.
In January, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) launched a petition calling on the Australian Government to close the boats and “put them out of their misery”.
“We urge you to take immediate action to close down Venturas boats and to give the Northern Territories the certainty they need to avoid a catastrophe of catastrophic proportions,” it said.
AMCS spokesperson Paul Kelly said the organisation had written to the Australian Department of Fisheries and Maritime Services (DMS) on the issue and that the department had yet to respond.
“We have asked for clarification on the position and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has said it has no position,” he told Al Jazeera.
“So, it’s not clear to us whether or not they have been closed yet.”
O’Neil has said he was not aware of the government’s plans to close Venturas.
“It is not my responsibility as president to make any decisions regarding the boats or their owners,” he wrote in an email to Al Jazeera on Friday.
“What is my responsibility is to the people and to the country and to ensure that they are operated as safely as possible.”
In response to the petition, DMS said in a statement that it was not a party to the legal proceedings.
“DMS will not be making any comment on pending litigation or the outcome of the dispute,” it added.
“However, DMA continues to encourage the public to exercise caution when using Venturas.”