Government fails to rule out port job losses

The Maritime Union of Australia is very disappointed the Ports Legislation Amendment Bill has passed through State Parliament.

The passage of the Bill means Esperance, Albany and Bunbury Port Authorities will be merged to become the Southern Port Authority.

The Labor party opposed the legislation, however it passed through parliament with the support of the National Party.

“We are very disappointed that the National Party did not take this opportunity to stand up for regional communities by blocking this Bill,” said MUA State Secretary Chris Cain.

“The amalgamation of regional ports will lead to job losses in towns like Esperance and Albany, as management jobs end up in Perth and Bunbury, and local suppliers don’t get the opportunity to supply port operations,” Mr Cain said.

During the debate in parliament, the government failed to rule out job losses at Esperance or Albany.

“We are very concerned that amalgamation could be the first step towards privatising the ports, which will lead to even further job losses and cost cutting,” said Mr Cain.

“The government has already said it is considering privatising port infrastructure and we are concerned that Esperance and Albany could be added to the list.”

Mr Cain called on the State Government to conduct a study into the potential impact of the amalgamation on local workers, businesses and communities.

“We think the government really needs to understand what impact this decision could have before it goes ahead with the amalgamation,” he said.

Mr Cain said the government needed to make the findings of the study available to the public to ensure the process was fair and transparent.