[2012] FWA 6573

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Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009
Sch. 5, Item 6 - Review of all modern awards (other than modern enterprise and State PS awards) after first 2 years

Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, The; Maritime Union of Australia, The; Australian Maritime Officers' Union, The

Port authorities



Application to vary the Marine Towage Award 2010 - technical variations to avoid confusion.


[1] This decision concerns a joint application by the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, the Australian Maritime Officers’ Union and the Maritime Union of Australia (jointly “the Applicants”) as part of the two year review of modern awards pursuant to Item 5 of Schedule 6 to the Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009 (the Transitional Act) to vary the Marine Towage Award 2010 (the Award). 1

[2] The application was listed for mention and programming on 21 June 2012. Directions were issued requiring the Applicants to file submissions in support of the application by 2 July 2012, with other interested parties to file submissions in reply by 12 July 2012.

[3] A submission was received from the Applicants on 2 July 2012. No other submissions were filed. At the mention on 21 June 2012, the representative appearing on behalf of Svitzer Australia Pty Ltd and Teekay Shipping Pty Ltd advised the Tribunal that they did not object to the application. 2

The relevant legislation

[4] Sch. 5, Item 6 of the Transitional Act provides:

[5] Further provisions of the Act are also applicable and relevant to the 2012 Review. Section 134 provides as follows:

The Variation

[6] The application seeks to amend clauses 3.1, 13.1 and 14.1 of the Award to vary references to the term “tonnage” to read “tonnage/power units”. The Applicants submit that “tonnage/power units” was the terminology previously used in the industry in the Tugboat Industry Award 1999 and the term “units” was used in the Tug and Barge Industry Interim Award 2002. During the award modernisation process this change was made by consent. The Applicants submit that the omission of the term has led to confusion and created an anomaly where a person, if reading clause 13.1 of the Award without having reference to the definition of the term tonnage at clause 3.1, may misinterpret the classifications contained therein.

[7] The Applicants submit that the variation proposed will reduce the possibility of confusion and ensure the Award operates effectively and is simple and easy to understand in accordance with the modern awards objective.

[8] In my view this variation will remove a source of confusion and is an appropriate technical change which can only assist in the application of the Award. I will make a determination in the terms sought in the application.

Other matters

[9] Clause 13.1 of the Award contains daily and weekly rates of pay. In order to make the process of adjusting the daily rates following adjustments in line with the Annual Wage Review more transparent, I propose to amend the Award by inserting a method of calculating the daily rate. The daily rate is calculated by dividing the relevant weekly rate by seven. If any party bound by the award has any difficulty with this variation they should contact my chambers within 14 days of this decision.


Final written submissions:

AIMPE, AMOU and MUA - Joint Submission, 2 July 2012

 1   MA000050.

 2   Transcript of proceedings, 21 June 2012 PN10

Printed by authority of the Commonwealth Government Printer

<Price code A, MA000050  PR527443>