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MARITIME workers are to rally outside the Pullman Cairns International hotel on Tuesday, urging action from the Queensland government to support an enhanced coastal shipping industry.

The Maritime Union of Australia (part of the CFMMEU) is to then give evidence to the Inquiry into a Sustainable Queensland Intrastate Shipping Industry, being held in the hotel.

Following the enquiry, a public forum is to be held in the afternoon at The Jack Hotel outlining the union’s plans for “shipping industry reform”.

According to an MUA statement, “the union will explain that 11,000 voyages are made by large ships along the Queensland coast annually, carrying 23m tonnes of cargo between Queensland ports, yet the vast majority of these voyages take place on international flag of convenience ships that use foreign crews on poor wages and conditions”.

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The MUA is urging the Queensland government to turn this situation around by ensuring coastal transport and energy infrastructure.

According to the MUA, these reforms would increase local jobs, ensure shipping off the Queensland coast and through the Great Barrier Reef is of the highest standard, get trucks off roads, and reduce carbon emissions by ensuring domestic vessels conform to the highest emissions standards.

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