Special visit from border security boat
A KEY vessel in the border security arsenal docked in Mackay for a quick visit on its journey to Cairns.
The 53m Cape Nelson arrived in Port of Mackay about 6pm Thursday.
The Cape Nelson is on the final leg of a patrol from Cairns to Sydney and return. It's one of eight Cape class vessels in the Border Security arsenal.
The patrol was to detect and deter a range of on-water threats, including prohibited imports and exports, maritime terrorism, people smuggling and the illegal exploitation of natural resources.
Acting Commander Maritime Border Command (COMMBC) Jo Crooks said a key priority for the ABF is to protect Australia's national security in the maritime environment.
"The message we really want to get out there is that while there remains a strong focus on the protection of our northern border, the ABF is also focused on civil maritime threats across Australia as a whole," Acting COMMBC Crooks said.
"In particular, the ABF is alert to the very real threat of illicit drug importations through the use of small to medium sized vessels. In the past 18 months, Australian law enforcement agencies have intercepted almost half a billion dollars worth, and over a tonne, of illicit narcotics entering in this way."