Australian senate hearing raises “shocking concerns”

The maritime coordinator of the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), Jacqueline Smith, today described the senate hearings into flag of convenience (FOC) shipping taking place in Canberra, Australia, as raising “shocking concerns”.

The fact that the captain of the ‘death ship’ Sage Sagittarius – on which three people have died in suspicious circumstances – was allowed to work off the Australian coast for eight months, despite claims of involvement in potential firearms offences, is the latest revelation to emerge at the hearings.

Jacqueline Smith commented: “These latest revelations are blowing a hole in the Australian government’s pretence that it is managing Australian shipping in a safe and responsible manner. That particular claim is now taking on water and about to sink without trace.”

 She continued: “Coming on top of the scandalous recent cases of the CSL Melbourne and the MV Portland*, these new exposés paint a deeply worrying picture of a dysfunctional and indefensible policy that goes right to the top of the Australian government.”

*For more details of these cases see and


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