Jobs in the Gladstone maritime sector will flow from the establishment of a new Maritime Jobs Taskforce by the Queensland government.
Jobs in the Gladstone maritime sector will flow from the establishment of a new Maritime Jobs Taskforce by the Queensland government.

Major maritime jobs boost for Gladstone

JOBS will flow in Gladstone’s maritime sector from the establishment of a maritime task force, says the Queensland Government.

The Maritime Jobs Taskforce aims to reinvigorate shipping along the coastline to create new maritime jobs and expand transport operations.

Job opportunities in the tourism, fishing and resource sectors, as well as general maritime operations will all be identified.

Transport and Main Road minister Mark Bailey said the task force would work with industry and unions to identify practical ideas and opportunities to grow the industry and remove barriers to jobs and growth.

“A parliamentary committee that looked at intrastate shipping in Queensland last year found a decline in training, employment and competition,” he said.

“The global economy has been hit hard by COVID-19, but Queensland’s strong health response means we can now focus on jobs and supporting our economic recovery.

“Freight moves to every corner of Queensland on its highways and rail lines but our coastline, the great blue highway, is underused.

“Having a more efficient, reliable and safe intrastate shipping industry will give businesses more transport options, drive competition and create new jobs at a time when they’re most needed.”

About 2600 maritime workers, or 22 per cent of all maritime workers in Australia, are employed in Queensland.

“This includes transport professionals, marine pilots and transfer crews, deckhands, transport and dispatch clerks, supply and distribution managers and accountants,” Mr Bailey said.

“By finding ways to encourage growth in intrastate shipping, we can explore opportunities for job creation, especially in the area of vessel crewing and training and increasing the use of local crews in Queensland.

“Giving maritime workers new career avenues also makes the wider industry more sustainable into the future.”

Former Maritime Safety Queensland general manager, Patrick Quirk has been appointed to chair the Maritime Jobs Taskforce.

“Mr Quirk has considerable experience in the shipping sector which will be invaluable in leading this initiative,” Mr Bailey said.

“The taskforce’s priority will be to explore how we can create more maritime jobs by identifying practical measures to grow the intrastate coastal shipping industry.”

Mr Quirk will be assisted by two industry representatives working in an honorary capacity, Captain Chris Peters, chief executive officer of Pacific Tug Group and Jason Miners from the Maritime Union of Australia.

The task force will discuss the issues with industry and present its findings in a final report to Mr Bailey by September 28.