Crumlin Encourages Dialogue To Strengthen Shipping

Reacting to comments attributed to Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin released the following statement.

The MUA welcomes a balanced stakeholder consultation to enhance the obvious national benefits of the new legislation, which underscores the importance of shipping to the health of other Australian industries, including in manufacturing. The shipping reforms put in place had one goal in mind: to strengthen the Australian shipping industry and safeguard important jobs for Australians, but with the broader goal of enhancing the Australian economy. The legislation was enacted after exhaustive multi-party consultation over five years with shipowners , shippers, regulators, states and interested parties. The reforms addressed a broad range of matters including national productivity, port productivity in areas such as pilotage, a chronic skills shortages in maritime  skills and how that shortage of skills is linked to safety  environmental risks and port productivity. In addition, a comprehensive skills development structure was agreed to after a high-level forum of port management and port operators, shipowners, unions and the Royal Australian Navy identified the critical importance of maritime skills development to both the economy and national security.

The MUA agrees with Mr. Truss' reported positions that the new Government wants to have a "vibrant coastal shipping industry" with Australian flagged and crewed ships. We, therefore, reiterate to the incoming government that any steps forward should constructively engage in the  genuine momentum of consensus already arrived at within the industry and the markets it services.We look forward to a dialogue about how to move that agenda forward which accomplishes the dual goal of strengthening the industry and continuing to provide safe, good jobs for Australian maritime workers along with more efficient and sustainable Australian industry that rely on a comprehensive freight forwading strategy and infrastructure, including coastal shipping, that is essential in meeting their current and future needs.