Jul 6, 2017

Coalition facilitates maritime sackings

The Turnbull Government is continuing to abuse maritime laws to facilitate the sacking of 40 Australian seafarers and their replacement with overseas crews earning third world wages.

The Canadian Steamship Lines (CSL) Thevenard, which has been operating around the Australian coast for nearly a decade, sailed to China recently where its Australian crew was sacked on Wednesday.

The Government has issued the company with a temporary licence allowing it to continue operating in Australia with a new crew of overseas seafarers on vastly lower wages.

While the Australian Government has the power to issue temporary licences, they must be for temporary work in cases where no Australian ship is available.

The Thevenard already had an Australian crew.

And its work was in no way temporary, with the ship having operated between Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane carrying gypsum, fly ash and minerals sands since 2008.

In 2015 the Government used similar permits to allow the owners of the MV Portland to replace its Australian crew with overseas seafarers, despite the fact that vessel had been operating in Australian waters for more than 20 years.

This followed the Senate’s rejection of the Coalition’s WorkChoices on Water legislation, which would have removed any preference for Australian seafarers in coastal trade.

It is extraordinary that any Australian Government would actually facilitate Australians being sacked because they are paid Australian wage rates.

Australians want a Government prepared to stand up for Australian jobs, but the Turnbull Government is doing the opposite.