With the Federal Government’s laws to invigorate Australia’s coastal shipping services defeated today in the Senate, a willingness by all stakeholders to plot a course to secure the industry’s future is a welcome development, says Senator for Western Australia Zhenya ‘Dio’ Wang.
After consultations on the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 with union representatives and the Opposition in Canberra this week, Senator Wang welcomed commitments from both parties towards roundtable negotiations between government, industry and workers to rebuild a competitive and efficient Australian shipping industry.
“While it is important for our nation that Australia retains a coastal shipping industry, there is clear agreement that reform is desperately needed to address the decline and rebuild Australian shipping,” Senator Wang said.
“Everyone – unions, workers, government and industry – needs to sit down at the table to ensure this vital sector survives and provides our nation with an efficient and sustainable service for generations to come.”
Senator Wang said he welcomed this week’s formal commitments in writing to him and in the Parliament, from the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Labor Party respectively, to facilitating a new approach to shipping policy that provides long-term stability for a strategically important industry essential to the maritime security of the nation.
“I also look forward to research that the maritime unions have commissioned on opportunities for growing Australia’s shipping industry – all stakeholders must bring something to the table – and welcome this week’s reassurances of their view to a new horizon for coastal shipping reform,” he said. “I now hope the constructive dialogue can be extended to the Government’s involvement and this critical issue can be addressed for the long-term security of the industry in Australia.”