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Transcript 2413

TASMANIAN SHIPPING CRISIS - STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, MR WILLIAM MCMAHON

Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 03/05/1971

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2413

POR PRESS: PM No. 49/ 1971
TASMANIAN SHIPPING CRISIS
Statemnt . y tePieMinister, Mr. William McMahon
A deputation led by the Acting Premier of Tasmania, the Honourable
K, C. Lyons, M. H. A. had discussions with the Commonwealth Government in Canberra
thlis morning. In addition to the Acting Premier, the deputation included the Leader of
the Opposition, Mr. E. t. Reece, M. H. Mr. A. N. Currie, President of the
Tasmanian Trades Labour Council and Mr. M. J. Overland, Secretary/ Manager
of the Tasmanian Chamber of Manufactures. Commonwealth Ministers present were
the Prime Minister, Mr. McMahon, Mr. Nixon, Minister for Shipping & Transport,
M. Lynch, Minister for Labour National Service, and Senator Wright.
The fundamental purpose of the deputation was to take up with the Commonwealth
; he need to seek arrangements which, recognising the special position of Tasmania,
woild be directed to providing the Tasmanian community, in the longer term, with
ome assurance that employment and business activity, and thus the welfare of the
06' mmunity, would be protected from the serious damage wItch would otherwise
occur as a result of disputes involving shipping services. The Acting Premier and
hjs'colleagues stressed the vital place of shipping in the Tasmanian economy over
of the State's trade being dependent on shipping services and threats to the ma intonance
of these services constituting a problem for the entire Tasmanian community.
The deputation asked that, at an appropriate time, the Commonwealth should
call a conference representative of the unions, the shipowners and the two governments
to see whether some formula could be devised and adopted to give Tasmania some
immunity of this kind. It was accepted, however, that the calling of such a conference
must await the outcome of discussions which had been initiated by the Tasmanian
Traaes Labour Council with the ACTU and the maritime unions in connection with
this Objective. The Commonwealth Government, acknowledging the particular vulnerability
of Tasmania to maritime industrial disputes, indicated that it wished to assist where
it coild in overcoming the problem. Against the background of recent developments,
and taking note of the case presented by the deputation, it would be prepared at the
appropriate time, and subject to the outcome of the initiative now being taken by the
Tasmanian Trades Labour Council, to propose a conference on the lines suggested,
it being understood that the agenda for such a conference and any action foreshadowed
by it must, of course, be a matter for agreement between the parties concerned.
As regards the immediate problem of the present shipping strike involving
the Marine Stewards'and Pantrymen's Association, it was noted that the strike was
already affecting employment and business activity in Tasmania in a substantial way and
that large-scale unemployment and disruption of trade would follow if the dispute were
prolonged. However, it was also noted that this dispute is now at a most sensitive
stage and that there are grounds for hoping that the talks between the unions and shipowners
now taking place in Sydney could lead to a settlement.
CA NBERRA
3 May 1971

Transcript 2413