May 31, 2012

Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Bill 2012 – Opposition Amendments

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Leader of the House and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) (13:12):  The government will not be supporting these amendments. These amendments would indeed undermine the very intent of the legislation.

Last year there were 1,400 single-voyage permits issued. Part of the problem in the ability of Australian ships to compete around the coast is about transparency and information. That is how the bill has been constructed, so that Australian ships can compete in full knowledge of what the circumstances are of what jobs are available. I find it astonishing that the House would consider there to be something inappropriate about that transparency and about giving Australian ships the right to compete. That is simply what these provisions are there for.

The shadow minister said earlier that he supported Australian ships getting jobs around the coast where that was possible, and he confirms that that is his position now. That is why the bill was constructed this way. I commend the bill to the House, and I ask the House to reject these amendments moved by the Leader of the National Party.