The Maritime Union of Australia has applauded the Northern Territory Government for placing "top priority" on investigations into the failure of ships' cranes at the port of Darwin
MUA National Secretary and President of International Transport Workers' Federation, Paddy Crumlin, said it was heartening to see the Government had promised to implement "as soon as possible" all 17 recommendations in a report into operations undertaken by the Darwin Port Corporation."I also note that the Government has said that it will place a key focus on worker safety," Mr Crumlin said.
"We are only in February and twice already this year we have seen two incidents where international ships' cranes have failed during unloading, putting the lives of maritime workers in danger.
"It is an absolute miracle that no one has been seriously injured or killed in these incidents."The MUA is available to meet regularly with the Darwin Port Corporation and stevedoring companies to monitor the implementation of this report's recommendations."
Mr Crumlin said he was particularly encouraged by comments today by the Northern Territory Minister for Transport Gerry McCarthy who said: "While we are putting significant resources into improving the safety and operation of the port we also need to ensure that the standards of international vessels are satisfactory." "These comments go to the very heart of the problem," Mr Crumlin said. "If these internationally flagged ships do not have adequately maintained equipment and properly trained people on board, they will continue to put the lives of our members in peril."
Media contacts: Paddy Crumlin 0418 379 660; Zoe Reynolds 0417 229 873; Justin Coomber
0457 833 896.