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Wednesday, 26 November 1986
Page: 3744


Mr MOORE(12.03) —I wish to make a couple of brief observations on the Bounty (Ship Repair) Bill. Quite clearly, the Minister for Science and Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce (Mr Barry Jones) did not indicate in his response a great grasp of any details of the shipping industry. Any attempt to justify a ship detention determination made by the trade unions without any regard for the commercial viability of the shipping industry must act to the industry's detriment. To call for a rationalisation in an industry which the Minister said had overcapacity, to call for an improvement in work practices, and to call for an improvement in employer- employee relations in the shipping industry is to acknowledge that this area has been dominated by the trade unions for years. With the concurrence of owners there have been undesirable work practices and unofficial payments which have made the Australian ship repair industry, in the old sense, totally non-viable. In the current climate of high interest rates and excessive costs, the undesirable work practices and dargs that are imposed and the practice of ship detention, as mentioned by the Minister, quite clearly will do nothing to improve or encourage in any way investment in this area.


Mr Hollis —Do you want it all to go to Singapore?


Mr MOORE —People would have every right to go there if the trade unions continue to impose restrictions in the way they did on the Caltex tanker.


Mr Hollis —But they are not going to.


Mr MOORE —They did, and those restrictions cost the company $1.3m in fees and demurrage charges just to hold it in port. It is an absolute disgrace for the Government to come along here with this flimsy case to bribe the trade unions.