Yesterdays announcement of tax incentives for Australian shipping and tighter restrictions on ships of shame makes headlines. Write in and have your say!
The Australian daily today has a front page story covering the proposed govt tax incentives and shipping reform aimed to revitalise Australian flagged shipping.
"THE Gillard government has offered lucrative tax incentives to promote Australia's domestic shipping industry. At the same time it is cracking down on foreign ships operating on Australia's coast," The Australian reports. "But business groups immediately warned that the cost of shipping cargo could skyrocket, while others slammed the plan as protectionism."
By midday around 20 people had written to the Australian voicing their support or opposition to the policy.
"It is a bit flimsy to suggest that the enforcing of a stricter cabotage regime is a protectionist approach as we would not allow foreign truck drivers to transport goods on our roads using trucks registered in a foreign country," wrote Andrew Scott of At sea on one of the few Australian ships left! at 3:14 AM Today
"So why do we continue to let foreign crews transport goods around our country on foreign ships.
It is important not to see these proposals as a Government that is getting into bed with the Maritime Unions rather as the much needed shot in the arm for an industry that has been in steady decline for many years, and although in the short term it may have a negative impact on the price of goods transportation it will ultimately create a domestic competition that will drive prices down."
As the Australian went to press and the paper geared up for a second round of reports in tomorrow's paper, the RMT Weipa sailed into Weipa, the first of the new Australialn crewed ships under the framework agreement with Rio negotiated with the union last year. The agreement was contingent on the government adopting shipping reform.
The MUA crew of the RMT Weipa are to feature in tomorrow's Australian alongside MUA national secretary and ITF president Paddy Crumlin.