Maritime News

Australian Senate launches inquiry into shipping

7 December 2018

The Australian Senate has agreed to hold an inquiry into the shipping industry. The move, initiated by the Senate’s Labor group, follows a campaign by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) raising concerns over the flagging out of domestic vessels and the consequences for Australian seafarers.

The MUA points out that the number of Australian-flagged vessels operating domestically and internationally fell from about 100 to 14 in the past 30 years, “with resulting job losses and a decline in our national skills base”. It has welcomed the Senate inquiry to break the political stalemate over the future of the industry.

The union commented that: “It is time for all political parties to work with industry and employee representatives to end the policy inertia and collaborate to find an approach that will secure the future of Australian shipping.”

The inquiry will look at policy, regulatory, taxation, administrative and funding priorities for Australian shipping, including: new investment in Australian ships; an efficient and commercially oriented coastal ship licensing system and foreign crew visa system; maritime security, including fuel security and foreign ship and crew standards; environmental sustainability; and workforce development and the seafarer training system.


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