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Australian-flagged ships sink to record low

Australian-flagged ships sink to record low

Sydney: An impassioned statement from Australia's Maritime Union reveals that the size of the country's trading fleet has been reduced to an all-time low level. The current total of 96 ships represents a decline of 15% over the past eight years. Of this total only 60 per cent are currently Australian registered and crewed.

In stark contrast, the number of voyages carrying cargo between Australian ports undertaken by foreign-flagged vessels has surged by 56.4 per cent between 2005 and 2007.  

"The government review of shipping policy and regulation is a critical step towards addressing these issues and ensuring the revitalisation of Australian shipping," said Maritime Union of Australia's Warren Smith. Earlier this year Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese commissioned an inquiry into coastal shipping policy and regulation.  [12/11/08]