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Blueprint for a Maritime Nation

Australia’s national shipping industry peak body, Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL), today launched Blueprint for a Maritime Nation. With a packed program and a clear agenda to spark debate, and propose solutions, this two-day conference will focus on the big issues affecting our national shipping and maritime industries – strategic merchant capability for national defence and supply chain security, our maritime skills crisis and the challenges and opportunities arising from the energy transition.   

The Hon Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government opened the conference ahead of the much-anticipated 2024/2025 Federal Budget, forecasting good news for Australian national resilience and sovereign maritime capability. 

“More than perhaps any budget in recent history this one will include good news and major reform in our maritime sector,” said King before thanking the industry for its constructive engagement. 

Addressing delegates, Hon Grace Grace MP, Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, Minister for Industrial Relations, and Minister for Racing highlighted the Governments track record of working with the maritime sector to reduce emissions, and to d develop hydrogen battery and biofuels capability.  

“The Miles Queensland Government is working hard to position Queensland to not only benefit from a decarbonised future but to lead the way,” she said. 

Signalling bipartisan support for enhancing national maritime capability and supply chain security, Federal Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, said: “My ongoing commitment to you is to support, where possible, a bipartisan maritime agenda that addresses the immediate challenges but also sets the sails for a sustainable and competitive future for our maritime industry.” 

Talking about the significance of the conference MIAL CEO Angela Gillham said: 

“Australia is a maritime nation. We are an island, heavily reliant on shipping for supply chain security. We have a diversity of existing and emerging offshore industries and natural resources and talent to be an early adopter and global leader in new energy technologies. If we are to realise our potential as a Maritime Nation, it is vital that there is collaboration across the maritime sectors and meaningful engagement by government on positive policy setting.   

“This is a pivotal time for Australian shipping. After decades of decline, our industry is on the cusp of a revolution that will bring huge benefits to Australia in terms of national security, supply chain resilience, reduced emissions, and a range of exciting career opportunities for Australian skilled workers. 

“Through a series of thought-provoking keynote presentations and panel discussions, Blueprint for a Maritime Nation, will touch on these issues, with day 1 focus on national resilience and maritime capability. The 4th Maritime Decarbonisation Summit with be held on day 2, providing a deep dive into the policy setting required to both decarbonise maritime and allow Australia to become a world leader in the manufacture and export of green molecules that will help to decarbonise hard to abate industries around the world. 

“Blueprint for a Maritime Nation has successfully brought together a diverse group of leaders from industry and government to engage in constructive, open dialogue, as we consider the serious issues before us. The conversations around the room will be frank, bold, and honest in their assessment of both the challenges and the opportunities. MIAL will continue to represent our industry and work with government and adjacent sectors to grow our maritime capability for the benefit of all Australians.” 

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