House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Statements by Members

Employment

1:57 pm

Photo of Brendan O'ConnorBrendan O'Connor (Gorton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations) Share this | Hansard source

I want to acknowledge in the public gallery today Australian seafarers including Jimmy Scott and Danny Bell, both of whom were sacked on the high seas with the complicit approval of this Prime Minister and this government. I say complicit, because the government had to issue temporary licences to foreign ships that will continue to undertake this work. They literally undermined the job security of these workers and, indeed, in doing so they undermined the national security as well.

This Prime Minister likes to invoke national security on any given matter, but when it comes to the maritime industry or seafarers he completely forgets it matters. In fact, it's quite remarkable that this Prime Minister will be happy to see an Australian worker sacked and allow a foreign crew to be paid, in some cases, less than $2 an hour in order to undermine our seafarers and our Australian shipping industry. That is unacceptable to Labor.

Labor will ensure that Australians get to actually work on ships that are in our waters. We will ensure that Australian seafarers are protected and are given and afforded proper employment conditions.

It is not just national security that this government wants to undermine; it is employment security and job security, which he doesn't care about. All he cares about is looking after his big mates and undermining workers in this country.

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