FEDERAL opposition transport spokesman, Anthony Albanese, has re-committed Labor to a “strengthened shipping policy” if it is returned to government.
Mr Albanese, the architect of the current coastal shipping regime, recently addressed the MUA National Council in Sydney and said they planned to fight proposed government changes.
“Labor’s shadow cabinet and caucus has determined that we will oppose the (government) Bill in its entirety,” Mr Albanese told the gathering.
“In 2012, Labor tried to get certainty for the long term but the Turnbull Government has engaged in a semi –process, then bang, back to their ideology.
“They may as well have had full deregulation with the changes they want to bring in. People will be able to game the system even more than they do now.”
Mr Albanese recently received a briefing on the legislation from the Department of Transport.
“I’ve got hanging on my wall a map given to me and signed by the crew of the MV Portland,” Albanese said.
“I looked at the picture and simply asked ‘why has a temporary licence been granted?’ ‘Why are there 457s being granted when there are Australian seafarers who need jobs?’”
Mr Albanese said it was important to enshrine changes to shipping in the ALP National Platform.
MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin, meanwhile, criticised the government for, in his eyes, failing to address proposals aimed at growing Australian content in coastal shipping.