Feb 21, 2012

Securing Australia’s maritime future

The Gillard Labor Government has taken another step towards securing the future of Australia’s shipping industry and its workforce, with the first meeting of the Maritime Workforce Development Forum held in Sydney today.

The Forum has been established to work through the Government’s historic reforms to the shipping industry, which are designed to make the Australian shipping industry more internationally competitive.

The Forum is comprised of representatives from across the maritime sector and will work to address priority issues such as the development of a mandatory training requirement and the development a national approach rather than sector or state-based approaches that currently exist.

One of the main elements of the Government’s shipping reforms is an income tax exemption where Australian shipping operators will not pay any income tax on core shipping activities.

In return, industry has to build a sustainable workforce for the future.  Australia has only 22 ships left, that’s less than half the number we had a decade ago.

The maritime sector is also facing an ageing workforce with 42% of their seafarer workforce aged 51 years or older – we need to find ways to make shipping a career of choice.

Highly skilled seafarers are required to fill safety critical roles such as port masters, pilot and inspection roles with our maritime safety regulators. As shipping traffic increases, so will our need to enforce our strict safety and environmental requirements.


Chair : Ms Lynelle Briggs

Mr David Anderson Chief Executive Officer Ports Australia
Mr Paddy Crumlin National Secretary Maritime Union of Australia
Ms Teresa Hatch Executive Director Australian Shipowners Association
Mr Joseph Homsey Managing Director Farstad Shipping
Dr Daryll Hull Managing Director Transport and Logistics Centre
Mr Wayne Moore President Australian Maritime Officers Union
Mr Terry Snee Federal President Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers
Mr Tony Wilks General Manager Svitzer Australasia