Government welcomes Port Botany truce

The Morrison Government has welcomed a halt to industrial action at Sydney’s main container port that was strangling the supply of vital goods in and out of New South Wales.

Just hours before an urgent application to end the action was due to be heard by the Fair Work (FWC)Commission, the Maritime branch of the CFMMEU today announced it was suspending all action and returning to the bargaining table with employer DP World.

Similarly, DP World agreed to withdraw the application before the FWC and continue good faith negotiations with the union on a new enterprise agreement.

Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter said the slowdown at the port had been of considerable concern given the impact on Australia’s economic recovery and the import of critical goods such as medical equipment and disinfectants which had increased significantly since the pandemic began.

“With so many businesses still struggling to get back on their feet, now is certainly not the time for damaging industrial action that threatens to put our wider recovery efforts in jeopardy, along with the health and safety of everyday Australians,” the Attorney-General said.

“I am pleased that both sides have now been able to chart a way forward that allows operations at DP World’s Port Botany facilities to return to normal while talks continue.”

Port Botany handles 99 per cent of all container movements into and out of NSW, contributing $3.7 billion annually to Gross State Profit and supporting about 25,000 jobs.

Forty two per cent of all goods in NSW households come through Port Botany, including food, clothing, building materials and consumer electronics. The industrial action had also threatened to impact heavily on NSW farmers who faced the prospect of significant cost increases and delays to the export of their crops after their first bumper year post the drought.

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