Policy & Politics |
Maritime Union of Australia


Poll: Herbert voters overwhelmingly support Aussie shipping industry
Union ads urge community to use their vote to support local seafarers

A poll of voters in the Herbert electorate has found they overwhelming believe that Australia should maintain a local shipping fleet and insist that merchant vessels working on the Australian coastline are crewed by local seafarers.
The poll of 683 Herbert voters, conducted by uComms on the evening of April 10, revealed that 78 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that Australia should maintain its own shipping fleet for carrying goods and freight along the Australian coastline.
Asked whether merchant ships working on the Australian coast should be crewed by Australian workers, almost 76 per cent agreed or strongly agreed.
The poll took place ahead of a local advertising campaign by the Maritime Union of Australia, across print, radio and television, which highlights the failure of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Liberal National Party to stand up for up for local seafarers.
The advertisements highlight the fact that at a time when a growing number of Australians are trapped in casual work and labour hire, the Morrison Government signed off on the temporary licenses that allowed 80 Aussie seafarers to be sacked by BHP and replaced with exploited overseas visa workers.

Doorstop: seafarers urge voters to support Aussie shipping
Who: local seafarer, Mich-Elle Myers, and Member for Herbert Cathy O'Toole
When: 11am, Tuesday 23 April 2019
Where: outside Wharf 10, Lennon Drive, Townsville

MUA National Officer Mich-Elle Myers said seafarers were urging the Herbert community to support Australia’s coastal shipping fleet by voting for candidates who are committed to standing up for local jobs.
“This poll confirms that voters in Herbert know exactly how important it is that Australia maintain its own merchant shipping fleet, crewed by highly-skilled, experienced, local seafarers,” Ms Myers said.
“But under Scott Morrison and the Liberal National Party, Australian shipping has being left to sink without a trace, with the government signing off on the replacement of local vessels with foreign ships that often fail to meet our employment, industrial and environmental standards.
“This was shown clearly earlier this year when BHP axed the last Australian iron ore vessels, sacked 80 Aussie seafarers while they were at sea, and replacing them with low paid exploited visa workers.
“Not only did Scott Morrison and his LNP mates do nothing to stand up for these Australian workers, they signed off on the temporary licenses that allowed BHP to get away with it.
“We’re asking local voters to back up their support for Aussie shipping by voting for candidates who support local seafarers and are committed to strengthening our local shipping industry.”
A copy of the poll, TV commercial, radio advertisement and newspaper ad are available here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Xf1wgYk__iJS5TScKryqquwT-HXg7V7t

Media contacts: Mich-Elle Myers 0401 202 667 or Tim Vollmer 0404 273 313