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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23352


Mrs DE-ANNE KELLY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade) (5:44 PM) —I would like to thank the opposition, and particularly the shadow minister, for their valuable contribution to the development of the Maritime Transport Security Bill 2003 and the facilitation of the swift passage of this bill through parliament before Christmas. Three of the government amendments presented today represent the outcome of negotiations with the opposition and the government on issues relating to the welfare of seafarers and the rights of employees.

Similar issues were also highlighted in the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee's report on the provisions of the Maritime Transport Security Bill, which was tabled on 27 November 2003. In particular, in paragraph 1.25 the Senate committee comments that employee representatives should be involved in discussions on security matters. The regulations will prescribe that maritime industry participants are required to demonstrate in their maritime security plans that they have an ongoing mechanism for consultation with their employees and that employee representatives be involved in security planning and the implementation process.

The government amendment to the definition of `unlawful interference with maritime transport' clarifies that industrial action is exempt from this term which resolves the Senate committee's concern in paragraph 1.39. Similarly, the government amendment to the purpose of the bill clarifies that the bill is not intended to impact on the rights, freedoms and welfare of seafarers as referred to in the International Maritime Organisation's International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. Once again, I thank all for their involvement in the process of developing the bill and ensuring its prompt passage through parliament.

Question agreed to.