Strategic Investment in National Maritime Security

Maritime Industry Australia Ltd, welcomes the ALP commitment to build an independent Strategic Fleet.

Teresa Lloyd, MIAL CEO says:

Australian ownership and control of shipping capability is as essential to our national prosperity as Australian miners, farmers, and manufacturers.

A strategic maritime fleet provides a trifecta of benefits — security of key supply chains; jobs for highly sought-after maritime skills; and economic stimulus to the nation.

As an island nation, ships must form part of Australia’s critical infrastructure — this means Australian-based businesses having some level of participation in maritime supply lanes.

The resilience of our seaborne supply chains has been tested more than most realise over the past 2 years. While the current supply shortages, high freight rates and delays are well known, less well understood is how perilously close the international shipping industry came to complete shutdown during 2020 as the COVID crisis pushed maritime crews to their operating limits and they threatened to stop work en masse. This would have been disastrous, critically effecting the supply of goods including essential medical supplies.

While the summer of 2019/20 seems a long time ago now, that season of bushfires – and the maritime response that assisted so many local communities – is seared in the memories of those who sought refuge or evacuation. We should not forget the countless times our maritime industry has provided assistance during time of natural disaster – flood, cyclone, or fires.

A strategic fleet will help to reignite Australian maritime activity, kick start homegrown capability and assist Australian businesses to be able to compete internationally, reinforcing our supply chain and civil maritime security.

Our maritime sector deserves to be fostered and secured in order that it can serve the Australian community.

MIAL has been advocating for such a national capability to exist since 2016 and has undertaken years of work establishing the detail of what is necessary for the Strategic Fleet to provide maximum benefit to the nation. MIAL looks forward to being part of the taskforce announced to deliver this critical national capability.