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Published: 14 Dec 2023
MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA
14 DECEMBER 2023
Seventy Australian seafarers to join Woodside LNG ship
The Maritime Union has reached an agreement with Woodside Energy alongside the other two maritime unions for the Australian crewing of an LNG vessel, building on a cooperative relationship that dates back to the commencement of LNG exports from the North West Shelf Project in the 1980s.
The agreement between Woodside and the MUA, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers and the Australian Maritime Officers Union preserves a role for Australian-resident seafarers in the maritime industry delivering LNG to customers across Asia.
The National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, Paddy Crumlin said, “LNG shipping has provided many Australian seafarers with rewarding and fulfilling employment, working in the national economic and strategic interest of all Australians, for many decades. The skills and employment base that the LNG trade provides our industry cannot be understated, and we look forward to building on this and offering more Australian workers the chance to pursue a life at sea.”
This collective commitment to the continued investment in the development of strategic maritime skills will run from April 2024 to the end of March 2029, and sets a course towards an enduring relationship, subject to the projected growth of Woodside’s LNG operations in Australia being realised. The agreement has been realised after many months of negotiation and work by Assistant National Secretary Jamie Newlyn and Sydney Branch Deputy Secretary, Paul Garrett.
Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said the agreement would support the security of supply that underpins Woodside’s reputation globally as a reliable supplier of LNG, while also providing employment opportunities for Australian-based seafarers.
“This agreement reflects our shared interest with unions in ensuring continued opportunities for employment across all aspects of the LNG industry, including shipping, and recognises the Australian Government’s interest in strengthening maritime supply chains,” she said.
The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers Federal President Martin Byrne welcomed the agreement and said the parties have also agreed to hold further discussions in good faith with an intent to explore expanding the agreement across future marine operations.
“This is an agreement which lays the foundation for long-term future cooperation in the offshore maritime sector,” Mr Byrne said.
The Australian Maritime Officers Union Executive Officer Mark Davis said: “The continuity of employment for highly skilled and experienced LNG ships’ officers will benefit all parties to the new arrangement and the opportunity for new trainees to gain international gas ship experience will be invaluable.”
The agreement will support employment of around 70 Australian-resident seafarers on an LNG carrier within Woodside’s chartered fleet.
The crew will be employed by the vessel’s contracted Crew Manager, ASP Ship Management Pty Ltd, based in Melbourne.