Anthony Albanese Addresses MUA National Council

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 [Picture: (L to R): Anthony Albanese, Paddy Crumlin & MUA QLD Branch Secretary Mick Carr.

Anthony Albanese, candidate for the leader of the Labor Party addressed the MUA’s National Council today, focusing his comments on the Labor Party’s policy agenda on shipping, maritime and ports, the next wave of reform in meeting the freight transport challenge and in building infrastructure & infrastructure financing

In introducing Albanese, National Secretary Paddy Crumlin underscored that Albanese had served in a government-- the Rudd-Gillard Federal Labor Government—which had been a strong government in terms of its work in MUA’s key policy areas, and that Albanese, in particular, had been the leading force in advancing MUA priorities as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport in the previous Government.

Albanese emphasised that the Coalition Government is already at work trying to weaken the shipping reform package. “I will not support Coalition attacks on the core of the package which was aimed at revitalising the Australian shipping industry and to promote quality Australian jobs,” he said in his prepared remarks.

Albanese highlighted the coming into force of the Maritime Labour Convention which sets out in one place minimum working and living conditions for the world’s 1.2 million seafarers. “It is unique because it aims both to achieve decent work for seafarers and fair competition by creating a level playing field for the majority of shipowners and operators who do the right thing,” he said in prepared notes, as he recognised Crumlin’s central role in pushing the MLC.

Albanese also discussed additional areas where he worked with Crumlin and the MUA to advance significant steps: the Maritime Workforce, the commencement of AMSA as the National Marine Safety Regulator on 1 July.

“Unfortunately, we know that the Coalition Government is already saying that they will water down important parts of the Government’s coastal trading reforms,” he underscored to the Council.

Albanese pledged that no matter who was elected leader of the Labor Party—he or Bill Shorten—the entire process of internal discussion and open debate has been healthy for the party in the long term. He said that he and Shorten have pledged to each other to strongly support whoever wins the vote. Shorten will address the Council on Wednesday morning.