Australia’s senate rejects cabotage changes

Australia’s senate rejects cabotage changes

Australia will not be changing its cabotage laws after all in an embarrassing set back for the government.

The federal senate today rejected proposed shipping legislation that would allow foreign-flagged vessels more access to Australian ports.

The amendments would have renamed the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 to the Coastal Trading Act 2015 and replaced a three-tiered licensing system with a single permit, allowing both Australian and foreign-flagged vessels to access Australian ports for 12 months.

It would have allowed foreign vessels working between Australian ports for more than six months per year to pay foreign wages to their crew.

The senate vote is a huge victory for the nation’s maritime unions, which had been campaigning hard to ensure the law change did not happen.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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