Reports today about the Government’s revitalisation of the shipping industry are incorrect.
The Gillard Labor Government’s reforms will make the Australian shipping industry more internationally competitive and allow Australian shipping companies to compete on international routes.
Foreign ships operating on the Australian coast are already required to pay Australian wages and our reforms make no change to this.
It appears the Deloitte modelling commissioned and released today by the Australian Dry Bulk Shipping Users is based on the assumption that this is not currently the case.
The Government’s shipping reforms do not close the coast to foreign ships – they encourage more Australian ships to compete against the foreign shippers.
The Government’s workplace relations reforms have ensured that all seafarers working on vessels in Australian waters have the benefit of Australian laws and a fair safety net of employment conditions.
The Business Council of Australia’s call for a Productivity Commission review of Australian shipping ignores the fact there have been four years of Parliamentary inquiries and consultation on this issue.
We don’t need another review to tell us what we already know – the Australian fleet has gone down from 55 ships to 21 in the last decade.
The time for action is now.