There are some countries in the world where the citizens are not surprised to hear that in the middle of the night 30 security guards rush on board a ship, withdraw the workers who work on board the ship at one o'clock in the morning, send them down the gangway and then replace each and every one of those workers with a foreign worker working on a pittance.
Australia should not be one of the countries where we are not surprised to hear about this happening.
That is exactly what happened in the case of the MV Portland. I know this because this morning I spoke to a constituent of mine, Zac Kinzett, who has been out of work because he was sacked when those security guards stormed on board that ship and put him on shore. What is worse is that he cannot look for another job, because as soon as he takes up alternative employment his employer will deem him to have forfeited his job. This is not Australian.
I wish I could say it was an isolated incident but it is not. I have also spoken today to Joanne Kerin, who was sacked from her ship, the Alexander Spirit, where she worked as a caterer, in July last year.
Thirty-six of her coworkers were also sacked in similar circumstances. As the first parliamentary week of the year draws to an end, it is not too late to end this madness and for the government to put Australian workers first. (Time expired)