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Tasmanian shipping crisis



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DR PRESS:

PM No. 49/1971

^ ta ^ m e n ^ b ^ th e J^m ]e_ Min i s t e r ΜτΛ

A deputation led by the Acting P rem ier of Tasm ania, the Honourable C. Lyons, Μ. H. A. had discussions with the Commonwealth Government in C anberra is morning.

In addition to the Acting P rem ier, the deputation included the L eader of e Opposition, Mr. E. E. Reece, Μ. H .A ., M r. A. N. C u rrie, President of the ism anian T rades & Labour Council and Mr. M. J. Overland, Secretary/M anager the Tasm anian Chamber of M anufactures. Commonwealth M inisters present w ere e Prim e M inister, Mr. McMahon, Mr. Nixon .M inister for Shipping &Transport, r. Lynch, M inister for Labour & National Service, and Senator Wright.

The fundamental purpose of the deputation was to take up with the Commonwealth e need to seek arrangem ents which, recognising the special position of Tasm ania, )uld be directed to providing the Tasm anian community, in the longer term , with tme assu ran ce that employment and business activity, and thus the w elfare of the immunity, would be protected from the serious damage which would otherw ise :cur as a re su lt of disputes involving shipping serv ices. The Acting P rem ier and s colleagues stre sse d the vital place of shipping in the Tasm anian economy - over l% of the S tate's trad e being dependent on shipping serv ices and th reats to the m ain- nance of these services constituting a problem for the en tire Tasm anian community.

The deputation asked that, at an appropriate tim e, the Commonwealth should .11 a conference representative of the unions, the shipowners and the two governments see whether some form ula could be devised and adopted to give Tasm ania some imunity of this kind. It was accepted, however, that the calling of such a conference ust await the outcome of discussions which had been initiated by the Tasm anian :ad0s & Labour Council with the ACTU and the m aritim e unions in connection with is objective.

The Commonwealth Government, acknowledging the p artic u lar vulnerability T asm ania to m aritim e industrial disputes, indicated that it wished to a s s is t w here could in overcoming the problem . Against the background of recent developments, d taking note of the case presented by the deputation, it would be prepared at the p ro p ria te tim e, and subject to the outcome of the initiative now being taken by the ism anian T rad es & Labour Council, to propose a conference on the lines suggested,

being understood that the agenda for such a conference - and any action foreshadowed r it r. m ust, of course, be a m atter fo r agreem ent between the p arties concerned.

: As reg ard s the im m ediate problem of the p resent shipping strik e involving e M arine Stewards'and Pantrym en's A ssociation, it was noted that the strik e was ready affecting employment and business activity in T asm ania in a substantial way and at la rg e -sc a le unemployment and disruption of trad e would follow if the dispute w ere

olonged. However, it was also noted that this dispute is now at a most sensitive age and that th e re a re grounds fo r hoping that the talks between the unions and ship- m ers now taking place in Sydney could lead to a settlem ent.

iNBERRA May 1971