Australian seafarers are warning that the local industry is at risk of going under unless the influx of foreign workers is halted.
Hundreds of overseas contractors are currently working on the Australian coast despite close to 1,000 local maritime workers looking for jobs — about one sixth of the entire workforce.
"Families are devastated," said Thomas Mayor, secretary of the NT branch of the Maritime Union.
The lack of jobs has been blamed on falling commodity prices and a decline in manufacturing, but unions have said that is only half the story.
" aren't drying up because there's no work, but drying up because the Government is allowing $2 an hour exploited labour to replace them on the coast," Mr Mayor said.
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