Australian Merchant Mariners - Always Essential

MIAL join Minister Gee in recognising the contribution of Australian merchant mariners of the past, and the impact and sacrifice they made throughout wars and times of conflict.   

We will always remember and honour their service.  

In remembering the past, we must look to the future and ensure that we have Australian vessels and merchant seafarers available to again play the vital role of keeping sealanes open and dedicated to provisioning Australia.   

Building an Australian shipping capability makes sense as part of the broader picture of ensuring Australian self-reliance, such as our investment in our inland rail.   

MIAL calls on the Government to consider the actions necessary to revive the Australian shipping industry and secure the maritime capability and skills our nation has relied on in the past and desperately needs in the future.   

MIAL also use today, merchant navy day, to recognise the contribution and sacrifice of today’s Australian seafarers – those battling border closures on a daily basis to get to and from work to keep essential shipping and maritime service working.  Without their work ships would stop, ports would close, goods would not make it into the country and the resources sector would grind to a halt.   

Given the undeniable ‘essential service’ they provide it seems desperately unfair that WA and, more recently QLD, do not consider them essential workers and will not allow them to cross their borders to enter for work.  Truck drivers and train drivers are OK, boat drivers are not.   

MIAL calls on all States and the NT to ensure their border directions treat maritime crews as essential, as they do other freight providers,and facilitate their border crossings to get to and from work.