Senate debates

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Statements by Senators

Shipping Australia Ltd

1:32 pm

Photo of Glenn SterleGlenn Sterle (WA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm going to have a lot more to say about this issue, a lot more. On our waterfronts here in Australia there is white-collar crime going on. The international shipping companies are getting away with murder, and they're putting the cost of transport straight onto the trucking companies, who then have to pass it onto all of us out there in the shopping centres.

The Productivity Commission have done an interim report. I can't wait for the final report. One of their recommendations says that terminal access charges and other fixed fees for delivering or collecting a container from a terminal should be regulated so that they can only be charged to shipping lines and not to transport operators. So guess what Shipping Australia Ltd have done? They've come out and declared war on the trucking industry, saying it's the truckers' fault that they're fleecing everyone! But they've finally been caught—those thieving international owned shipping companies, who do not pay one cent of tax in this nation—for exploiting the seafarers they use on our coastal trading. Let me tell you—I'm going to have a lot to say—if they want to fight with the trucking companies, then I'm going to fight against them. I'm going to join the trucking industry. Isn't that a shock?

Very quickly I want to talk about the Robbed at Sea report. In its conclusion it says:

Seafarers perform difficult, often dangerous work that is essential to the operation of global supply chains, delivering all the merchandise we take for granted in modern life.

Yes, they do. But guess what? It's this same mob; it's Shipping Australia Ltd. It's all these low-life foreign companies who pay some of these poor seafarers at times $2 to $3 an hour. Can you believe the gall of Shipping Australia wanting to take on a fight because they've been uncovered? The emperor's clothes have just fallen off, and I'm rubbing my hands together, Shipping Australia. I've sent out an e-mail. Give me a call, because you don't even have a phone number on your website.