THE INTERNATIONAL Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association of Australia is calling for the establishment of an Australian Maritime Commission.

The concept of a dedicated regulatory body is outlined in a three-point plan for maritime industry reform, released by IFCBAA on 25 January.

The first point in the plan is for federal industrial relations minister Tony burke to “directly intervene” in the ongoing EA dispute between DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia.

IFCBAA chair Adam Butler and CEO Scott Carson requested intervention at a meeting on Thursday with Mr Burke’s senior advisors.

The second point relates to the federal government setting up a the Australian Maritime Commission, or AMC for short.

IFCBAA has suggested the commission have certain powers such as forcing “an immediate freeze on stevedore terminal access charges and conditions” and tracking “the full history and allocation of funds of such charges with each stevedore terminal”.

Other proposed powers include absorbing the functions and recommendations of the Strategic Fleet Taskforce and the power to repeal Part X of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.  

And the third point in IFCBAA’s proposed plan is for the federal government to “reduce the minimum bargaining period considered as an impasse period of time from the current 9 months down to 3 months” within the rules of the Fair Work Act, “either wholly across all industries, or at least to apply for stevedore terminal worker EA bargaining periods”.

The association said the third point would provide “a clear and shorter pathway for a resolution to EA issues that sees the FWC intervene at the expiry of 3 months of unresolved EA negotiations, in a process that involves the FWC making an intractable bargaining workplace determination that establishes the terms and conditions of employment in place of an EA.”

IFCBAA considers itself a voice for international freight forwarders and licensed customs brokers, operators of premises licensed by government agencies responsible for the movement of goods.