Members of the NSW Opposition are urging the state and federal governments to end the ongoing port dispute before it costs the nation more
The NSW Opposition has called on the current state government to stand up for NSW businesses and regions in the ongoing industrial dispute between DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).
The dispute continues at the state’s busiest port in Botany, with the NSW Liberal party saying it’s causing millions of dollars of damage to the NSW economy.
Acting leader of the Opposition Natalie Ward says NSW premier Chris Minns has a chance to stand up for the thousands of people across NSW who will be impacted by the by the MUA industrial action by calling on the federal government to urgently intervene.
“Chris Minns needs be a man of his word – when Port Botany was previously under siege by protesters, he said having it blocked would be ‘hugely damaging to our economy’. Now that the damage is coming from a union strike, Chris Minns needs to show us that he’s not just all words and no actions,” Ward says.
Shadow regional NSW minister Dugald Saunders says the disagreement between DP World and the MUA is causing more than $25 million worth of damage in NSW each week and having a negative flow on effect to regional communities.
“Residents and businesses in the bush rely on the smooth flow of goods to and from Port Botany every day, and the last thing they need is industrial action crippling major supply chains,” Saunders says.
“This is already being widely felt by our primary producers who need to be able to import and export their goods, with the delays not only costing time but also devaluing perishable products like meat and fresh fruit and vegetables.”
The Liberal party says DP World already has a backlog of around 48,000 shipping containers nationwide, with delays on essential items ranging from two to eight weeks and set to worsen.
Shadow NSW regional transport and roads minister Sam Farraway says the dispute will significantly impact freight, which will have serious repercussions for regional businesses.
“DP World plays a big role in the port’s operations, handling containerised freight that carries everything from grain to fresh produce, meat, farming equipment and machinery,” Farraway says.
“Port Botany handles more than 90 per cent of containers in NSW and this industrial action has massively blown out the time to move those containers and get vital supplies to our rural communities.
“This is costing the regions millions of dollars and if it is not rectified, it will start costing jobs. It’s a no win situation at the moment and the government needs to step up and do something about it.”