Union wants three-ponged approach to infrastructure

Queensland Government must focus on the entire supply chain and labour standards to reduce congestion and bottlenecks, union group argues

The Queensland Government must focus on the entire supply chain and lifting labour standards to reduce congestion and bottlenecks, according to a union group.

During its annual meeting in Brisbane this week, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) called on the Government to prioritise three areas if it is adamant about increasing supply chain efficiency.

MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin says there needs to be stronger commitments to international recognised labour standards and decent work principles, greater training initiatives and investment in Queensland infrastructure.

Doing so, he says, will "unlock significant opportunities for domestic and international shipping in this state".

The annual meeting was dominated by discussion about how to cut congestion and alleviate bottlenecks and traffic jams in and around Queensland’s ports.

"What we need is an integrated approach to infrastructure development in Queensland, particularly port development and in the emerging coal seam gas LNG industry," Crumlin says.

"The question is what the state and federal governments are prepared to do."

Crumlin says ships are queued along Queensland coastlines, hampering efficiency and Australia’s ability to meet Asian demand for energy and food.

The MUA boss says governments must work with industry and union groups to develop solutions.

One solution, he says, is a new role for Australian shipping. A federal parliamentary inquiry into coastal shipping policy is due next week, and Crumlin says governments need to support any positive measures aimed at revitalising the industry.

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