The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has welcomed the policy announced by Shadow Industry Minister Kim Carr on helping to protect the marine environment by investing in a new research vessel for the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIM).
Australian shipbuilders and shipyards will be involved in the building of the new research vessel which will allow scientists to conduct important research.
The new vessel will join the existing fleet of RV Solander and RV Cape Ferguson operated by AIM, which are both under constant demand from Australian and international researchers.
AMWU Assistant National Secretary Glenn Thompson said Australian shipbuilders were relying on new orders like the research vessel to maintain jobs as they wait for the Federal Government’s continuous-build program for the Royal Australian Navy to commence.
“Our shipbuilders are among the best in the world and we need to maintain their skills during the current downturn in the industry so that when the expected increase in shipbuilding occurs, they’re ready to take on the work and help to train new workers,” Mr Thompson said.
“We welcome any new orders for major vessels which will help keep Australian shipyards viable during the current difficult period being experienced in the industry.”
Mr Thompson said when completed, the new larger research vessel would allow a greater level of research activity by marine scientists by freeing up the two smaller vessels for coastal work, while the new ship concentrated on off-shore research.
“Shipbuilders know the value placed on preserving Australia’s vast marine environment, including the Great Barrier Reef and they will be proud to play their part in protecting our marine heritage,’ Mr Thompson said.
Media contact John Hill 0412197079