Monday, 18 February 2019
Statements by Members
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the naming ceremony of Toll's new Australian flagged and Australian crewed vessel, Tasmanian Achiever II. It's Australia's biggest cargo ship, and, together with the new Victorian Reliance II, will increase the freight task on Bass Strait by 40 per cent at a cost to the company of $300 million—a wonderful investment. It is one of 12 ships, Australian crewed and Australian flagged, left in Australia. What do we see on these ships? We see local jobs for people in my electorate.
I was joined yesterday by the Prime Minister, and I felt a level of hypocrisy. Why is that? That's because this government is responsible for the sacking of hundreds of seafaring jobs in this country. Eighty workers on the Mariloula and the Lowlands Brilliancewere recently sacked by BHP—thank you to the Prime Minister! I met Jimmy last year. He had been at sea for 15 years, with 10 of those on the Mariloula. He is now unemployed, replaced by foreign crews.
I call on the government and I call on the Prime Minister to support what I have been saying, and that is to protect the Bass Strait from their destructive agenda and to join with Labor to investigate a strategic fleet of Australian flagged and crewed ships to protect our national interests. If he does not do so, it is bad for business. It is bad for the exporters from Tasmania. It is bad for local jobs in my electorate and across this country. There are seafaring families that rely on these jobs.