In the history of our federation there has never been an Australian government so determined to fly fewer Australian flags.
For the last two years this government has been working as hard as it can to replace this flag with the flag of a foreign nation on the back of our maritime vessels. The flag, the Australian Red Ensign, is now seen as a flag of inconvenience to this Liberal government.
The SPEAKER: The member for Throsby will resume his seat. The member for Throsby has made his point with the flag. He will not continue to hold the flag.
Mr Stephen Jones interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Throsby will address the chamber. He has made his point.
Ms Claydon interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Newcastle will cease interjecting. The member for Throsby has the call.
Mr STEPHEN JONES: The truth is this: the Liberal government has systematically dismantled Labor's shipping laws, which created a fairer market for Australian domestic shipping. The Senate estimates committee which is currently inquiring into flag-of-convenience shipping has found that there has been a 78 per cent increase in foreign-flagged vessels over the last decade. Joanne Kerin, a person in my electorate, knows the impact of this. Her entire crew of 36 workers, working on the Alexander Spirit—
Mr Nikolic interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Bass will cease interjecting.
Mr STEPHEN JONES: was sacked overnight and replaced by a foreign crew. It is an absolute disgrace— (Time expired)
The SPEAKER: The member for Throsby will resume his seat.
Honourable members interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Throsby has been asked to resume his seat. In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.