He continued: “Coming on the heels of the dawn raid removal of the crew of the Portland last week, this is another example of the Australian government shooting itself in the foot. It is beginning to look almost like it wants to punish the Australian people, by removing their jobs and national shipping industry in favour of dodging tax and national labour standards.”
The Melbourne is the latest victim of the undermining of Australia’s cabotage protection laws. The ITF has repeatedly made the case for keeping such legislation. As the ITF cabotage taskforce has stated, 47 countries have some form of cabotage law because it is good for their economies. With a thriving maritime industry, people work in good quality jobs, consume goods and boost the economy.
Failing to protect cabotage undermines sovereignty and has national security implications. It also has serious economic implications for maritime regions and communities.
Mr Heindel is leading the seafarers’ group at the high level meeting at the ILO in Geneva amending the ground-breaking Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 for international seafarers. "This latest debacle from the Australian shipping industry will not be lost on anyone there," he said.
For more about how cabotage laws protect skills see http://goo.gl/hzqkgE.