Labor is barely in the second month of government and already the union kiss-arse begins with Kevin Rudd set to reduce the number of foreign-owned ships transporting freight around Australia.
The Prime Minister is set to require foreign vessels in Australian waters to observe an International Labour Organisation convention guaranteeing fair pay and conditions for all seafarers.
This may sound good, but in reality will reduce the competitiveness of the foreign operators giving Australian shipping companies the upper hand. Besides, what may seem like very poor working conditions for wealthy Aussies may be excellent conditions for Asians or South Americans. Imposing such conditions would most likely result in either foreign sailors losing their jobs or being transferred to less lucrative markets where conditions may be even poorer.
Labor will review coastal shipping laws to uncover ways to lift the domestic shipping fleet’s share of the domestic freight market from its current level of about 80 per cent.
Far from being squeezed out by foreign competition, Australian operator already have 80% of the market! Now Rudd wants to presumably give them 90 or 100 percent creating a virtual monopoly for the local operators.
Monopolies are never good for the consumers. If competition is crowded out, the freight transport will become more expensive resulting in higher prices on goods and services for all Australians. Rudd is going to make all of us pay to keep the shipping companies and his MUA buddies richer.