By confirming today that the Coalition will oppose Federal Labor’s historic shipping reforms, Nationals Leader Warren Truss has once again put politics and obstructionism ahead of the national interest.
Even more significantly, the position outlined by Mr Truss is a complete repudiation of his own Party’s platform as well as the policy Tony Abbott took to the last election. The measures outlined in both documents are very similar to those contained in the legislation that’s currently before the Parliament.
What’s more, Labor’s legislation is based on the unanimous recommendations of a bipartisan parliamentary committee, including its deputy chair and Nationals MP Paul Neville.
Not satisfied with having stood by and watched the domestic shipping industry shrink dramatically to just 21 Australian flagged vessels, Mr Truss and his Coalition colleagues are now attempting to thwart Federal Labor’s efforts to reverse the decline and restore its viability.
Our aim is simple: more Aussie seafarers crewing more ships flying the Aussie flag carrying more Aussie goods around the Aussie coastline. As a large, relatively remote island continent with a proud maritime history, our ambition for the future should be nothing less.