News

UPDATE: Inspectors allowed to board Cement Australia ship

UPDATE: 

CEMENT Australia helped inspectors gain access to the Unity today when it docked in Brisbane. 

International Transport Workers' Federation National Coordinator Dean Summers said the conditions appeared to be acceptable and the captain was cooperative with the inspector.

Now the Federation says it's working with Greek owners Cosmos to establish an agreement for the workers.

"That will legally bind the company to adhere to international standards," Mr Summers said.

Mr Summers hopes to have the agreement finalised within the next few days.

EARLIER:     

INSPECTORS claim they were denied access to a ship loaded with cargo from Cement Australia.

The International Transport Workers' Federation tried to board the ship yesterday when it was docked in Gladstone only to be told the crew was "too busy".

This vessel, Unity, has caught the Federation's attention because the Greek owned bulk carrier, sailing under a Panama flag, hasn't left Australian waters for at least the past month.

Federation National Coordinator Dean Summers is concerned this ship is regularly trading within Australia, but because it isn't registered here sailors aren't getting Australian minimum wages.

Mr Summers is determined to have an inspector board the ship when it docks in Brisbane on Thursday.

"We won't be dissuaded from our duties," Mr Summers said.

"We will get on board and find out what's going on."

Cement Australia and the Greek owners Cosmos are still to return our phone calls. The shipping agent managing the Unity in Gladstone, Ironmonger Shipping Agencies, refused to comment.

The International Transport Workers' Federation union regularly inspects ships to ensure conditions for the crew on board meet Australian standards.

Senate inquiry into Australian shipping

UNITY is what's referred to as a 'flag of convenience' ship.

Although it's owned by Greek company Cosmos, it flies the flag of Panama, an arrangement which can enable companies to avoid adhering workplace regulations.

Last year the Federal Government launched a senate inquiry into the use of 'flag of convenience' ships --- known in the industry as the cheap option --- after three deaths on a Japanese owned ship The Sage Sagittarius hauling coal between Australia and Japan.

The senate report is due to be handed down next month.

There were 24 submissions including from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection which says the use of 'flag of convenience' ships are more attractive for use in illegal activities.

The submission also states that these ships, with complex financial and ownership arrangements can be shrouded in secrecy making it difficult to hold anyone to account for injuries and deaths on board.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection submission summary;

"The regulatory, registration and compliance practices of the so-called FOC states have the potential to create vulnerabilities for Australia's enforcement of laws in its maritime domain.

These vulnerabilities add to the attractiveness of FOC shipping to entities such as organised crime syndicates and other entities seeking to illegally exploit natural resources both within and outside the AEEZ."

The senate inquiry also follows a move from the Federal Government to deregulate the Australian shipping leading to fears from those in the industry that Australian jobs would be lost and labour standards weakened.

Read the full submissions to the senate inquiry.

Topics:  cement australia, flag of convenience, gladstone



'Loaded' hourly rates could replace penalty rates

PENALTY RATES: Workers could get more an hour to fore go weekend penalty rates.

DO YOU rely on penalty rates to make ends meet?

BREAKING: Gladstone man flees court

Police are looking for this man

33-year-old man wanted by police

Emergency services held up in woman's rail line 'sieges'

Police generic

Woman's late night antics puts Gladstone rail under 'siege'

Local Partners

Kim Kardashian West 'sick of talking about Taylor Swift'

Kim Kardashian West is sick of talking about Taylor Swift.

Justin Bieber ordered to attend Miami deposition

Justin Bieber has been ordered to travel to Miami for a deposition

Sludge metal heaven served up across Australia

Black Rheno bring their stripped back sludge metal through regional Australia.

Black Rheno to hit a town near you

Prog metal upstarts to tour Australia

Caligula’s Horse, one of the country’s most exciting and innovative progressive bands, will hit the road for a national tour in November.

Australian prog masters announce national tour

Debra Messing wants to do a 'naughty' Will and Grace reunion

'Will & Grace' star Debra Messing wants a "naughty" reunion

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'working on custody agreement'

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are thrashing out a custody agreement

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'