No oil spill with Australian liners, union claims


Queensland oil spill demonstrates why Australia needs its own domestic shipping channels, union says

The shipping union says the emerging environmental catastrophe from an oil spill in Queensland demonstrates why Australia needs its own domestic shipping channels.

The Maritime Union of Australia says the Hong Kong ship responsible for the spill, which has blackened beaches along the south Queensland coast, has a history of carrying domestic cargo.

National Secretary Paddy Crumlin says Australian industry is good for the environment.

He says the Howard Government ran down the domestic shipping sector in Australia.

"Coastal shipping forms part of our critical national infrastructure and Howard is squarely to blame for us now being at the mercy of deregulated foreign ships employing the cheapest possible crews," he says.

"The federal Rudd Government has committed to rebuilding the Australian industry through attracting investment and it is reassuring to finally have a responsible minister who understands the industry."

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