Australian opposition proposes strategic shipping fleet

Photo: Maritime Union of Australia

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has unveiled its plan to establish an independent “strategic fleet” of Australian-flagged and -crewed vessels to restore the country’s domestic shipping sector and guarantee national trading and shipping capacity in times of crisis or national disaster.

Opposition members said such a fleet will strengthen Australia’s economic sovereignty and national security as it will enable the country to secure ongoing access to fuel supplies and other essential imports.

The ALP added that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown how supply chains can be impacted by external events, while the risk of global or regional conflict leaves Australia “vulnerable” to the actions of foreign powers.

The party’s plan is for the vessels to be privately owned and operated on a commercial basis. However, they will be available for requisition by the Defence Forces in times of national need, whether that be natural disaster or times of conflict.


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Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.