Coronial Inquiry Sparks Demand For Maritime Reform and Industrial Manslaughter Laws in the NT

Workers and their families rallied today at the Darwin Local Court in support of the family of a seafarer who was killed at Hudson Creek in January of this year.

The seafarer, Dan Bradshaw, was killed at Hudson Creek working on a landing barge leaving behind a partner of 16 years and two young children.

Mr Bradshaw’s bereaved partner, Ms Tanya Louth, expressed her and the familiy’s anger at the lack of response from NT Worksafe to the conditions at Hudson Creek and how the system had “failed us”.

Her sentiment echoed that of Coroner Greg Cavanagh in relation to the death of another young seafarer, Ryan Donoghue. Mr Cavanagh said in his report “Workers are entitled to the benefit of the safety laws that control workplaces. They should not pay with their lives for failures by others to abide the law.”

Ms Louth said in her speech: “We recognise the importance of Daniel’s death as a wake up call for NT regulatory authorities to start making changes.” She stated: “Daniel’s death must not be in vain.”

MUA NT Branch Secretary Thomas Mayor said: “More workers will die if the Government does not act on the safety culture in the Northern Territory.

“Bad companies will always cut corners to make an extra dollar at the workers’ peril; it is the role of NT Worksafe to listen to workers and stop a fatal safety culture by punishing dishonest employers before they kill a worker. This they have failed to do, and this year there is a dead seafarer and a dead construction worker who will never spend another Christmas with their families.”

Workers in the Northern Territory have had many protests about the current NT Work Safe Authority. One of the rallies saw the then-Opposition Labor party join the unions at Parliament House as part of the outcry against the CLP-appointed head of the Authority who remains at the helm of NT Worksafe today.

The Coronial Inquiry into Mr Bradshaw’s death 11 months ago comes just over a week after a construction worker was killed in Darwin at the INPEX Gas Plant Construction site. The rally also paid their respects to the dead construction worker.

The MUA joined the ETU and CFMEU today in calling for industrial manslaughter laws to be legislated. 

Contact: MUA NT Branch Secretary Thomas Mayor, 0437 650 221