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Government Agency entry Stevedoring Industry Commission (1942 - )

Regulatory Body


Established in 1942 amid growing industrial concerns on the waterfront, the Stevedoring Industry Commission consisted of a Chairman and seven other members. The following groups had one representative each on the Commission: overseas shipowners, Australian shipowners and employers engaged in stevedoring operations. One member was an officer of the Commonwealth and three members represented the Waterside Workers' Federation of Australia.

The Commission's primary concern was to affect and sustain an immediate improvement in the turn-round of all ships in Australian ports by stabilizing the industry, assessing labour needs, identifying available labour and deploying that labour to assist the war effort. The stipulated functions of the Commission were to co-ordinate the use of labour in stevedoring operations, to control and regulate waterside work and stevedoring operations, to ensure that adequate provisions were made for the protection of waterside workers against injury, and wharves against damage, from or in connection with attack by an enemy with the objective of expediting the loading and unloading of ships.

The Stevedoring Industry Act of 1947 was passed to affect a permanent Stevedoring Industry Commission rather than a temporary war-time measure.

Ross G. Elford