Sep 20, 2011

Consideration in Detail – Navigation Amendment Bill 2011

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Leader of the House and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) (19:32): The member for Melbourne has moved an amendment to repeal paragraph 132(6)(c) of the Navigation Act. Currently, a seafarer is able to access sick leave only if he or she is so unwell that he or she will be unable to work for more than a week. The amendment will allow seafarers to access sick leave on the same basis as other workers, irrespective of the period of time they are unwell. The government supports this reasonable amendment which has been moved by the member for Melbourne. This adds, in a small way, to the bill that has been moved before the House.

This bill is an important step forward. There has never been so much legislation on shipping as there has been in recent years. The government is absolutely determined to revitalise the Australian shipping industry. We need to become a shipping nation, not just a shipper nation. We need to become participants, not just consumers. As the largest inhabited island continent on the planet, we have a vital interest in having a revitalised Australian shipping industry. This bill, bringing in the Maritime Labour Convention in the way that it does, is a part of the reform process. Later on, I will be bringing substantial legislation before the parliament for our national shipping reforms. I hope to receive the support of everyone in the House to have a revitalised Australian shipping industry in the interests of our economy, in the interests of a sustainable environment but also in the interests of our national security. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.