Australian politics direct: airport firefighters plan strike; Backdown Greens opened the door for an anti-corruption bill

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Australian airport firefighters voted to go on strike, the union said

Elias Vistay

Firefighters at Australia's 27 airports plan to strike down Friday, with passenger flights across the country set for four hours of disruption.

The aviation arm of the United Firefighters Union announced on Tuesday its members had voted to strike in protest over short staffing levels, safety and pay issues amid months of disagreement with Airservices Australia over a new company agreement.

The strike, planned for between 6am-10am on Friday 9 December, could result in grounded flights, as planes were not allowed to land at the airport without firefighters on duty, while other airlines chose not to.

In response to the announced strike, Airservices Australia said it was disappointed to hear of the union's planned action, calling its claims of safety concerns "grossly misleading".

An Airservices Australia spokesperson said it would continue to negotiate "in good faith" with the union.

There is no shortage of aviation rescue firefighters at Airservices Aviation Rescue Fire Services in Sydney or at any other location. Airservices Australia staffing requirements for aviation rescue firefighting services at Australia's 27 busiest airports are heavily regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

We continue to meet all service requirements nationwide to ensure the safety of airlines, airports and the traveling public – safety is our No.1 priority. Airservices will continue to work closely with industry and safety agencies to minimize disruption to flights as a result of these industrial actions.

Donna Lu

Ed Husic said he would introduce legislation tomorrow allowing the creation of a $15 billion national reconstruction fund (NRF) – a key election promise, noting that Australia currently ranks last among OECD countries in manufacturing self-sufficiency. He says:

We have the smallest manufacturing industry compared to domestic purchasing in any OECD country. Our manufacturing output consumption is almost double that of our domestic manufacturing output.

Husic believes the government should invest strategically in future-facing industries, citing US government investment in companies like SpaceX and Tesla. The NRF, he said, would be:

…a mechanism by which we will realize our ambition to better link science and industry to ensure Australian-made inventions can be commercialized and scaled up in our country…

We want more Australian companies to think globally and build locally. We have missed opportunities in the past and we are determined not to do that again.

Husic mentioned several priority areas that will form the core of the fund, including: quantum technologies, robotics and sensing technologies, and clean energy generation and storage technologies. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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