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National export industry jeopardised



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STEWART MCARTHUR FEDERAL MEMBER FOR CORANGAMITE COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY l.BRARY . ยท . MIC AH

a c t in g shadow m i n i s t e r f o r in d u s t r ia l r e l a t io n s""

NATIONAL EXPORT INDUSTRY JEOPARDISED

"While the Hawke Government proc ras t in ates wi th i t s Shipping Reform Task Force in itia tiv e , A ustralia loses potential savings estimated at $800m illion annually due to the in efficien cies and excessive expenses incurred on our waterfront* Acting ShadowMinister fo r I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n s , STEWART McARTHUR, s a i d t o d a y .

The exi s t i ng situ a tio n is one which the Federal Government has done l i t t l e to remedy and much t o p r o l o n g .

High uni t c o s ts , r e s t r i c t i v e work p ra c tic e s , overmanning and the level of industrial d i s p u t e s ha ve c o n t i n u e d u n a b a t e d i n 1 9 8 8 , d e s p i t e Government r h e t o r i c .

The cost of labour on the waterfront has continued to spiral placing greater pressure on uni t labour cost s. WFmembers received a 3%wage r i s e in September, wi t h f ur t her i n c r e a s e s due e a r l y t h i s y e a r .

Hnhanced superannuation benef i t s increased from 13.236 to 1336 for a ll weeks of service pr i or to July 1, 1988, were also obtained a f t e r a two day s t r i ke on September 5 and 6, d e s p i t e cons i st ent and appal l i ng pr oduct i vi t y lev e ls which remain w ell below our i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o m p e t i t o r s . '

The Government * s wage f i x i n g gui del i nes must be re a s s e s s e d and comprehensive r e s t r u c t u r i n g u n d e r t a k e n .

Evidence presented to the Inter State Commission Inquiry into waterfront strategy clearly e s t a b l i s h e s t he need fo r ur ge nt a c t i o n whi ch the Government cannot i gnor e.

A gricentre International, a newly formed Austral ian company, which secured an order from Saudi Arabia for 1,500 tonnes of cott on in 1988 incurred stevedoring costs 400%higher than estim ated due to delays and d isp u tes in the Port of Brisbane in May and June last y e a r .

Of the 95 hours and 50minutes it took to load the vessel *Hsraj F a ll11, only 47 hours and 45 m i n u t e s we r e a c t u a l l y s p e n t l o a d i n g .

I n c l e me n t w e a t h e r c a u s e d t h e l o s s of 9 h o u r s and 55 m i n u t e s .

Mandatory lunch breaks, rest periods, time concessions, e tc . accounted for amassive 30 h o u r s and 15 m i n u t e s - a l mo s t one t h i r d of t h e t o t a l l o a d i n g t i m e .

ENQUIRIES: GEELONG (052) 43 8 7 6 6

C a l c u l a t i o n s by Agricentre International were based on a loading rate of 300 - 400 tonnes p e r s h i f t and w e r e n o t u n d u l y e x c e s s i v e .

Th, l o a d i n g r a t e achieved was 125 tonnes per s h i f t - w ell below internationally a c c e p t a b l e s t a n d a r d s .

A; l eas t 12 p r i o r inquiries excluding the most recent ISC in itia tiv e have concluded that '-vnierfront productivity is unacceptably low; industrial relations are unacceptably poor; and c o s t s a r e u n a c c e p t a b l y h i g h .

The r e p o r t o f t he ISC i s e x p e c t e d t o be no d i f f e r e n t .

The Government’ s nonchalant a t t i t ude to existing abuses on our waterfront while in the jhort term threatens the livelihood of producers, in the long term jeopardises Australia’s f u t u r e e x p o r t p o t e n t i a l .

The L iberal and National Parties fully support responsible trade unionism as integral to A u s t r a l i a n s oc i e t y. Trade unions, however, should not be co n sid ered , nor consider th e m s elv e s , above the laws of the land. The O pposition wi l l use whatever power is n e c e s sa r y to end mi l i t ancy and re s to re the damage done to A u s tra lia 's economy by the

a c t i o n s o f b l o o d y - m i n d e d u n i o n l e a d e r s .

Exc e s s i ve c o s t s and a v o i d a b l e d e l a y s w i l l c ont i nue to erode the i nt er nat i onal

com petitiveness of Australian industries and jeopardise growth and employment prospects e l s e w h e r e in t he economy u n l e s s p o s i t i v e a c t i o n i s t a k e n i m m e d i a t e l y .

J a n u a r y 2 0 , 1989