New shipping laws save industry from total destruction: MUA

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New shipping laws save industry from total destruction: MUA

Laws to reform the Australian shipping industry have saved it from total destruction, according to the Maritime Union of Australia.

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Laws to reform the Australian shipping industry have saved it from total destruction, according to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said the industry looked like it was going to disappear completely.

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the new laws put in place zero tax rate for Australian shipping companies and were the most significant overhaul of the Australian shipping industry in 100 years.

Crumlin said the laws give priority to Australian ships on coastal routes.

Compete
 
‘This means that shippers on the Australian coast will be able to effectively compete in the domestic freight market but not rely on unimpeded access to developed nations wage standards,’ he said.

Crumlin said he and other union officers and members, had worked for 17 years to achieve that outcome.

‘This is, without doubt, one of the most important days in Australian maritime history,’ he said.

Alarming
 
It marks the day that Australian shipping was saved from near-death. In recent years, the number of Australian licensed trading vessels has been allowed to drop at an alarming rate, from 55 in 1996 to 21 today.

The Howard Government sacked domestic shipping like the vandals sacked Rome and this is the first stage of the rebuild.

This package of Bills will finally allow Australian ships, operating to Australian standards, to achieve a footing from which they can compete with Flag of Convenience (FOC) vessels in our domestic market while winning back a share of our export shipping.

This latter opportunity under the new International Register will create badly-needed jobs for our regional neighbours in the Pacific.

Exploited
 
Crumlin said that for over a decade FOC ships with poor standards and exploited crews had taken over our ports and displaced Australian vessels.

‘This legislation will arrest this trend and start turning it around in favour of Australian-flagged ships,’ he said.
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