LABOR frontbencher Anthony Albanese has called for Australia to follow America's lead on coastal shipping laws to boost local jobs and industry.
Mr Albanese has again hit out at the Abbott Government's new coastal shipping laws, which reduce the regulations requiring overseas ship owners to use Australian crews.
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has said the changes are needed to improve competition in the shipping industry, but the matter is yet to be voted on by the Senate.
Mr Albanese told a media conference on Wednesday that US laws ensured local crews were used on domestic freight trips, and the ships had to be built in America.
He said if the Coalition's changes were passed, it would remove preferences for Australian-flagged vessels and result in workers being paid at lower than Australian levels.
This meant Australian-owned ships would not be able to compete with overseas-owned vessels, Mr Albanese said.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.