Monday, December 15, 2014

I'm no expert, but...

I see that David Leyonhjelm had an article in the AFR in which he decried the Labor Party's re-regulation of Australian mercantile shipping.

Now I'm no expert on this topic, but nor do I suspect is Senator Blofeld.  The article reads very much as if it repeating information fed to him by a lobby group.  Yet that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't make some good points. 

Yet the reason I would take it with a grain of salt is that I had, for a number of years,  the acquaintance of an old former merchant ship captain, who I knew was a steadfast Liberal Party supporter and active in his local branch.  (He has, sadly, recently died.)   He was a great supporter of the Howard government, but was strongly of the opinion they got it completely wrong on the way they had deregulated coastal shipping.  The general gist of it was he believed the policy was severely undermining the nation's collective seamanship skills that would enable us to manage our own mercantile shipping fleet should the nation cease being serviced by those ships of other nations.   He essentially saw it as a long term national security issue.  (If I recall correctly, he also did not think that foreign shipping was up to scratch in safety or competency standards, either.)

Now, again, I have to say that I don't really know to what degree that the Labor re-regulation really improved this situation from his point of view.  But all I can say is that, from knowing this old sea captain with good conservative political credentials and a lifetime of experience in the industry, I do think there is something to be said for not completely deregulating this industry.

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