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Friday, August 26, 2005

Australia expects a few wrinkles in new port implementation

Reported here.

Best line:
The overhaul, which will included the introduction of a Maritime Security Identification Card for wharfies, seafarers and long-haul truck drivers servicing ships, would begin in October with the Port of Melbourne, followed by Sydney and Townsville.

"There is very much a larger population working at sea ports who have a criminal history and the fact these people will not be issued with another card is likely to cause some stresses and strains," Mr Truss told The Australian newspaper..
Hmmm. Let's see. They are doing honest work now, which because of past misdeeds, they may not be able to continue. Leaving them with what options, exactly?

UPDATE: More here. A little umbrage from the union boss:
The criteria that disqualify an applicant for a maritime card will not include offences relating to assault or armed robbery because, according to one senior government official, it would mean "we would probably lose 20per cent of the workforce".

Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin denied there was a high degree of criminality on the waterfront and said the new regulations would have a minimal effect on dock workers.

"It won't be disruptive at all. We're happy with what's been determined as long as the recommendations from the department and the stakeholders are followed," Mr Crumlin said.

"Through the merit-based, employer-controlled employment selection process, it really is as clean as any other industry.

"It's about national security and we're just as concerned about this as any other area of the community and we're prepared to work co-operatively.

"But we're not prepared to have our reputation belittled for political reasons. There is no criminality on the waterfront whatsoever. There is no corruption, that's an urban myth."
Urban myth? What fun...

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