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World Maritime Day: shipping industry has a vital security role.



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Martin Ferguson - World Maritime Day - Shipping Industry Has A Vital Security Role //media/0901/mfmswmd260901.html Thursday, 27 September 2001

World Maritime Day - Shipping Industry Has A Vital Security Role Martin Ferguson - Shadow Minister for Transport

Media Statement - 26 September 2001

The Federal Opposition today called on the Federal Government to recognise World Maritime Day and support moves to protect the health and safety of seafarers, eliminate sub-standard shipping, and honour the contribution of seafarers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War.

"At a time of increasing insecurity at home and abroad, the Australian shipping industry has a valuable defence and national interest role to play," Shadow Transport Minister, Martin Ferguson, said today.

"World Maritime Day on September 27 is a valuable opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of the Australian merchant marine to the security and defence of Australia.

"This vital role was recognised by Major General Cosgrove when he gave formal thanks for the support given to Interfet Forces during the East Timor crisis.

"It is a role that may become even more significant if Australian troops are deployed in the fight against terrorism.

"Labor has long recognised the economic and strategic importance of maintaining a vibrant, efficient and safe domestic shipping industry.

"To its continuing shame, the Howard Government insists on abusing the Single and Continuing Voyage Permit provisions of the Navigation Act to disadvantage and undermine the Australian shipping industry.

"This attack on the shipping industry has potentially disastrous effects on defence, environment, immigration and national security because replacement shipping companies and workforces have no allegiance to Australia, pay no tax and are effectively guest labour in the domestic Australian transport industry.

"The Federal Government must act to recognise World Maritime Day and to acknowledge the key role of the Australian merchant marine and shipping industry." Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.