Crumlin Visits Canberra To Talk Up Shipping Reform

Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary Paddy Crumlin has hit the halls of Parliament House in Canberra to talk up the economic benefits of the Government's shipping reform package.

Mr Crumlin met with Independent Bob Katter and Australian Greens lower house MP Adam Bandt yesterday, with meetings now being set up with Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie.

The national secretary also met with Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten, Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles.

Mr Albanese made his second reading speech on the shipping reform bills today.

"After approximately three years of planning, public and whole of Government consultation, extensive drafting, and through the commitment and cooperation demonstrated by all stakeholders, it is with great pride that I introduce the Navigation Bill 2012 to the Australian Parliament," Mr Albanese said.

"We are in the middle of a once-in-a-generation resources boom.

"Each year almost 4,000 ships transport goods to and from Australia, carrying ninety-nine per cent by volume of Australia's imports and exports. 

"This constitutes the world's fifth largest shipping task. 

"The increase in demand for Australia's exports and new resource developments means Australia's sea freight task is expected to double by 2025. 

"The safety and efficiency of the shipping industry is therefore critical to Australia's economic prosperity, maritime environment and security."

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications handed down its report on the shipping legislation this morning.

The Majority report recommends the House should consider and pass the Bills.