VESSEL IN CORIO BAY LATEST EXAMPLE OF WHY WE NEED TASKFORCE

RICHARD MARLES MP.
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1 month ago
VESSEL IN CORIO BAY LATEST EXAMPLE OF WHY WE NEED TASKFORCE
RICHARD MARLES MP
Labor is deeply concerned that the vessel MV Ben Rinnes which is currently in Corio Bay to discharge Soy Product is in contravention of international conventions, with a number of crew being forced to work in excess of 12 months.
 
This comes just days after a similar incident in Newcastle.
                 
It is for these reasons Labor has been calling on the Federal Government to immediately form a taskforce to deal with this very issue.
 
Under international standards, workers on these vessels would normally be contracted for eight to nine months, yet we are hearing of instances where crew members have been coerced into signing potentially unlawful extensions, with one crew member believed to have been working on the vessel for 17 months.
 
Without these workers, Australian goods would not be making their way overseas, impacting local Australian businesses which rely on the products getting to their overseas customers.  This is particularly critical as we are an island trading nation.
 
The workers on this vessel are playing a critical role in safeguarding the delivery of goods and services and should not be exposed to dangerous work practices.
 
Labor has been calling on the Federal Government to immediately form a taskforce to work with unions, crews and companies to facilitate crew transfers as quickly and safely as possible.
 
Instead, the Morrison Government failed to even dial in to a UK-hosted international conference on this issue last month.
 
It shouldn’t be beyond the Morrison Government’s wit to work with likeminded countries and sort this issue out, particularly during a pandemic when the supply of goods and services is even more critical.
 
Labor believes a dedicated taskforce will ensure these workers are protected and don’t fall between the gaps.
 
Workers stuck on ships need to get home to their families, and those onshore need to be allowed to replace existing crews and keep working.
 
This impasse cannot be allowed to continue.
Transport