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Government must come clean on its involvement in late night raid on MV Portland

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Senator John Madigan Independent Senator for Victoria

--- Media Release --- Government must come clean on its involvement in late night raid on MV Portland

February 9 2016

Independent senator for Victoria John Madigan today called on the government to “tell us what they knew”

in relation to last year’s late night raid on the MV Portland.

Senator Madigan said: “At last night’s Estimates hearings we discovered that the Australian Maritime

Safety Authority knew of plans to remove the MV Portland’s crew and replace them with foreign workers

three weeks prior to this occurring.

“The government can no longer plausibly deny involvement in the planning of the late night raid on the MV

Portland. The only question is how much it knew, when it knew it and to what degree it directly participated

in planning the operation. This is an issue of significant public importance and the government must be

held to account.

“I call on the responsible Minister, Warren Truss, to state publicly what he knew and the extent of his

department’s involvement.

“It is now beyond doubt that the government was involved at the planning stage of this operation. The

similarities with the 1998 Patrick’s waterfront dispute are difficult to ignore.

“The government doesn’t like to talk about its plans in industrial relations, the reason being that most

Australians have no appetite for its extreme agenda that would see conditions stripped away and wages

contained to enable big business to make ever bigger profits at the expense of their employees.

“Instead the government is trying to bring this about in other ways: attacking unions and seeking to the limit

the ability of Australians to negotiate collectively, signing us up to international trade agreements that will

see our jobs taken by low paid foreign workers, and now, it seems, by employing the same kinds of heavy

handed tactics previously associated with the Howard years against those who protest against this


Senator Madigan said he would personally write to Minister Truss seeking answers to the above questions.

Media contact: Nick Moss 0417 602 378