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Anderson offers no comfort on shipping or aviation security.



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Federal Member for Batman Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Transport, Infrastructure and Tourism

Martin Ferguson MP

MEDIA RELEASE

9th December 2002

Anderson Offers No Comfort on Shipping or Aviation Security

Australians received no security or comfort from the Minister for Transport, John Anderson, on shipping or aviation security in Question Time today.

The Minister clearly signalled he would do nothing to stop foreign crew members jumping ship, and for the airline industry failed to rule out another tax slug on travellers to pay for baggage screening.

The Howard Government’s shipping policy gives foreign shipping companies and workers an unfair advantage in the domestic transport market by not requiring them to pay tax or comply with normal working visa security arrangements.

The Opposition asked if the fact that 177 foreign crew jumped ship in the past three years was cause to change that policy and tighten the rules.

The Minister for Transport ignored that request and resorted to union bashing to disguise his inaction on the ship jumping that his shipping policy is facilitating.

On the issue of airport security, the Minister refused to rule out another new tax slug on the travelling public to pay for the increased airport luggage screening foreshadowed by the Prime Minister.

The cost of these changes at major airports has been reported as $300 million, but the Minister for Transport would not confirm this amount or how much the bill will be if regional airports are included.

The Minister has dodged these important questions and given Australians no comfort or security.

The Minister did not like being accused of dithering, but it is the best word I can think of to describe his inaction on shipping and aviation security policy reform.

Contact: Blythe Hamilton 0407 099 104