Aug 15, 2018

Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Amendment Bill 2017 – Consideration in Detail – Wednesday, 15 August 2018

That’s the difference in terms of the tolerance limits between the contract that is being put out. It’s not hard. It’s a version of 200 per cent more or 100 per cent less for the volume of product being asked to be moved. Not just that, but here we are on 15 August and you put in a bid to make your ship available to take maybe one, two or three tonnes of goods. You make the ship available, with the crew, with access to the particular port, and you take it up to Townsville, because it is goods to be taken from Townsville down to Brisbane. But when you get there, the ship isn’t going on 15 August, and it’s not going on 16 August, 17 August or 18 or 19 or 20 August. In the meantime you’re paying your staff and crew and paying your port costs, because the variation in when the actual voyage will take place can be 30 days.

That’s why you don’t have to listen to the union that I quoted before, the engineers’ union. Listen to the employers. Maritime Industry Australia Ltd, the peak industry body, said:

Without the tolerances being meaningful (and remembering that these were expanded by the 2012 reforms from 10% and three days to 20% and five days) the system may as well be deregulated entirely.

The industry itself is saying that if this legislation is not amended they won’t be able to be in business. That’s what they’re saying, and common sense tells us that that’s the case. Think about someone transporting grain or agricultural produce in your electorate, Minister. If I put out a contract saying, ‘Can you take a hundred head of cattle from Wagga Wagga to Newcastle port, but you mightn’t have to take it today,’ and the contract says 15 August and it will be a hundred head, but when you get there it’s 15 September that the trucks are going to go, and there’s 300 head of cattle, not 100 head, and you’ve got your truck there—how can you possibly compete on that basis? And the minister spoke about no directions to the department. They gutted the department! The entire shipping section got shoved off to other departments. They got rid of any expertise, so you had departmental officers approving temporary licences for the Portland—to replace the MV Portland—to go on one journey from Portland in Victoria around to Western Australia and back again. Minister, you should reconsider this position, because it’s just wrong. You don’t have to listen to the unions, listen to the industry itself.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is that the amendment be agreed to. I call the member for Grayndler.