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Monday, 3rd January 2022

Labor Will Create a Strategic Fleet to Protect Our National Security and Economic Sovereignty

with Catherine King MP

An Albanese Labor Government will strengthen Australia’s economic sovereignty and national security by building an independent Strategic Fleet to secure our ongoing access to fuel supplies and other essential imports.

More than most nations, Australia is dependent on seaborne trade. Shipping accounts for 99 per cent of our Australia’s imports and exports of goods, including fuel.

Despite this, for eight long years the Morrison-Joyce Government has put our national security and economic sovereignty at risk by standing idle as large multinationals dumped Australian flagged and crewed vessels so they could hire cheaper overseas crews.

Right now, less than one per cent of Australian seaborne trade is carried by Australian ships, forcing our nation to reply on foreign governments and companies for our essential imports.

As a first step, an incoming Albanese Labor Government will appoint a Taskforce to guide it on the establishment of the Fleet as quickly as possible. While these ships will likely be privately owned and operate on a commercial basis, we will ensure they are available for use by the Defence Forces in times of national crisis, whether that be natural disaster or conflict.

This Taskforce will include representatives from the shipping industry, major charterers, unions, Australian business and the Department of Defence.

An Albanese Labor Government will also act immediately to close loopholes in the existing regulatory framework to help rebuild Australian shipping. The Taskforce will also advise on how best to enforce existing coastal shipping laws and what legislative or regulatory reforms are necessary to reinvigorate Australian shipping. 

In times of conflict and crisis, our economic sovereignty and national security are dependent on Australian seafarers working on Australian ships.

That’s why an Albanese Labor Government will protect Australia and rebuild our strategic fleet.

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Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Rd
Marrickville NSW 2204

Phone: 02 9564 3588

Parliament House Office

Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 7700

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our offices stand and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge the sorrow of the Stolen Generations and the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We also recognise the resilience, strength and pride of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

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