THE REPEAL of legislation related to the former publicly-owned shipping company Australian National Line, which was sold to a French owner, highlights the ongoing failure of the Morrison Government’s to support a strong domestic shipping industry, according to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).

The primary aim of the ANL Legislation Repeal Bill, which passed the Senate last night, is to remove the legal protection for a number of business names formerly used by the Commonwealth shipping company, including: ANL; Australian National Line; Maritime Agencies of Australia; and Searoad.

The Maritime Union of Australia said the Federal Government had found time to debate legislation with the sole aim of allowing a foreign shipping company to use names that deceptively suggested they were based in Australia, but was missing in action when it came to protecting what remains of Australia’s domestic fleet.

“The Morrison Government has found the time to draw up legislation to allow the foreign owner of the former Commonwealth shipping line to use business names and domain names that deceptively suggest an ongoing link to Australian shipping, yet they’ve been unwilling to do anything to actually support the local industry or seafarers,” Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin said.

“ANL isn’t based in Australia, it no longer employs Australian seafarers, yet the Federal Government is passing legislation that is solely aimed at assisting this foreign business by removing restrictions on its use of deceptive business names likes Australian National Line and Maritime Agencies of Australia.

“It is embarrassing enough that the Australian National Line is no longer Australian, but it is truly insulting that the Morrison Government is putting more legislative effort into assisting this foreign company than they do to assist what remains of our domestic shipping industry.”

Mr Crumlin said the Federal Government should be focusing its energies on supporting Australia’s economic and national security by investing in the strengthening of our domestic shipping industry.

“The number of Australian-owned and crewed vessels is continuing to shrink, with thousands of jobs lost in recent decades,” Mr Crumlin said.

“Not only has this had substantial economic and social impacts, it has left our island nation extremely vulnerable to any global conflicts or economic shocks that may disrupt maritime trade.

“Rather than support Australian shipping, the Morrison Government has continued to issue licenses to foreign flag of convenience vessels to operate in our waters, supply our fuel, carry our resources, and move cargo around the coast.

“These vessels, which our nation is now almost entirely dependent on, are often registered in tax havens and crewed by exploited visa workers on as little as $2 per hour.

“There is a genuine crisis in Australian shipping, and it has potentially serious implications for all Australians, yet rather than take action, the Morrison Government is wasting their time with this insignificant and irrelevant legislation.”

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THE House Economics Committee will scrutinise Macquarie, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Bank of Queensland, Suncorp, Citi, and the Australian Banking Association at a public hearing in Canberra on November 29, 2019.

The chair of the committee, Tim Wilson MP, said, "These hearings are an important mechanism for the Parliament to publicly scrutinise and hold Australia’s banking sector to account.

"This will be the first time small banks appear before our Inquiry, whereas the big four appeared throughout the whole of the last Parliament.

"The committee’s scrutiny will include examining the banks’ progress in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry," Mr Wilson said.

"Given widespread misconduct in banking and financial services identified by the Hayne Royal Commission, it is important that the smaller banks and the Australian Banking Association are held accountable to ensure that they are making the crucial improvements needed to restore trust in the sector."

Public hearing details

Date: Friday, 29 November 2019
Time: 9.15am to 4.30pm
Location: Main Committee Room, Parliament House, Canberra

9.15am – Australian Banking Association
10.15am – Break
10.30am – Macquarie Group
11.30am – Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
12.30pm – Break
1.30pm – Bank of Queensland
2.30pm – Suncorp
3.30pm – Citi Australia
4.30pm – Close

The hearings will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live.

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THE Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell is proud to support this year’s Outstanding Western Sydney Women Awards to be hosted on October 15, with a stellar line-up of finalists announced.

“Each and every one of the award finalists are exceptional women,” Ms Carnell said.

“They’re community leaders, entrepreneurs and tradies – and they deserve this recognition for the brilliant work they do.

“My office is honoured to get behind the awards and the efforts of Western Sydney Women, which aims to help women in the region advance their businesses and career paths and provide a network of support for each other.

“Our Small Business Counts report shows 35 percent of Australian small businesses are female-led. That has been rising steadily since the 1990s but certainly more can be done to support women in business.

“Research tell us that the most successful start-ups are created by those who have a network or mentors for support.

“That’s why organisations such as Western Sydney Women are so important in creating a critical mass of female entrepreneurial role models.

“I look forward to celebrating the achievements of these outstanding Western Sydney Women on October 15.”

www.asbfeo.gov.au

 

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THE Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will appear before the House Economics Committee at a public hearing on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, as part of its review of the regulator’s performance.

Committee chair, Tim Wilson MP, said, "The hearing will provide the committee with the opportunity to question ASIC on its performance and operation and, in particular, how it is implementing the recommendations of the Hayne Royal Commission’.

"A common theme across the Royal Commission was that ASIC needs to take a stronger stance on enforcement. Australians expect the big banks and others to fear their regulator. There were too many examples where ASIC had not adequately penalised those it regulates.

"Since the committee’s last hearing with ASIC, the government has passed a comprehensive package of legislation that broadens and strengthens ASIC’s powers as well as providing a range of tougher penalties for wrongdoers," Mr Wilson said.

"The committee will scrutinise ASIC on its new enforcement strategy and supervisory approach as well as its efforts to restore trust, eliminate conflicts of interest, and raise standards of professionalism in Australia’s financial services industry."

Public hearing details
Date: Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Time: 11.05am to 1.50pm
Location: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House, Canberra

The hearings will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live.

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THE latest Federal Court decision has provided 92,000 more reasons why the Parliament should support proposed 'Ensuring Integrity' laws that will ensure building unions play by the rules just like everyone else, according to Master Builders Australia.

The judgement (Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (No 2) [2019] FCA 1667) found that the CFMMEU and its officials had broken the Fair Work laws eight times by engaging in coercion and adverse action, resulting in total penalties of $92,000 including $12,000 payable personally an official. 

Master Builders Australia’s CEO Denita Wawn said the case highlighted the urgent need for the Parliament to pass the proposed 'Ensuring Integrity' laws so that building unions learn to play by the rules or face disqualification or deregistration. 

"This is the 24th judgement in just over two years where building unions and their officials have been found guilty of coercion and taking adverse action against a company for not signing up to the union pattern EBA,”  Ms Wawn said. 

"This takes the tally of Federal Court judgements finding against building unions to more than 80 in just over two years, representing almost 450 separate instances where they've been found guilty of breaking Fair Work laws. 

“The judgment also highlights the ongoing trend where building unions and their officials, despite being found guilty of breaking workplace laws, continue to operate with an apparent belief they are above the law. One official involved in the case has broken workplace laws more than 10 times in just the last few years alone,” Ms Wawn said. 

"Unions and their officials who repeatedly and deliberately break the law must learn to play by the rules like everyone else or face the consequences, and that is exactly what the Ensuring Integrity laws will do."

The judgement comes on the back of yesterday's announcement that fresh legal proceedings have started in Queensland where building unions and another official face yet more new allegations of breaking the law, this time by allegedly forcing workers to join a union before they could work. 

Court documents allege that the official engaged in conduct and threats including: 

"You’re not working Sunday. I’m not going to approve you to work Sunday until this grubby little c**t joins the union"; and 

"I remember you now. You were that cheeky f**king little c**t who refused to be part of the union. Youre a grubby little c**t. I remember tearing your papers up". 

Ms Wawn said that this latest case is typical of the illegal and thuggish style that building unions deploy, and which building and construction small businesses face every single day.   

"While there's often a focus on particular CFMMEU officials, that’s just the tip of the iceberg and these cases evidence how widespread and systemic and entrenched the union’s culture of bullying and lawlessness has become,” she said.  

“Bullying is not tolerated in the community so it should not be tolerated from the CFMMEU or its officials. Unions do not have to bully and constantly flout the law to stand up for their members,” Ms Wawn said.

www.masterbuilders.com.au

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MANSFIELD QLD 4122