17 November, 2015
Recent comments by Labor's Anthony Albanese show a complete disregard of the plight faced by Tasmanian businesses reliant on shipping freight across Bass Strait.
Senator Richard Colbeck said Tasmanian businesses deserve a competitive and efficient coastal shipping industry to ensure they can transport freight around Australia without being disadvantaged.
"Labor has a disastrous record on coastal shipping after their so-called reforms destroyed real competition on coastal shipping routes around Australia. It resulted in less freight carried, less employment and fewer vessels on coastal routes - the exact opposite of what they promised.
"By refusing to admit the faults in Labor's bungled coastal shipping laws, Mr Albanese is blocking opportunities for new markets and condemning Tasmanian businesses to high freight costs.
"Let's not forget that it was the Labor/MUA disastrous changes which that contributed to the huge hike in costs for Tasmanian business. So why should we believe them now?
"The Coalition is fixing this mess and has introduced legislation to return competition to coastal shipping and create opportunities for growth and employment."
Senator Colbeck said Tasmania will benefit from the Coalition's rejuvenation of coastal shipping laws.
"Australia's largest stevedore, DP World, has plans to establish a $20-30 million international container terminal at the Burnie Port - but only if our coastal shipping reforms are passed by the Parliament," Senator Colbeck said.
"As a result of the Coalition's coastal shipping changes, DP World estimate the cost of shipping a 20 foot container from Tasmania to Shanghai will reduce from $2800 to $1350. This is good news for Tasmanian businesses.
"Our coastal shipping reform will increase the competitiveness of Tasmanian manufacturers and primary producers, currently facing high shipping costs that threaten their viability to compete against international imports.
"Increased competitiveness of local businesses will lead to economic growth and more jobs for Tasmanians."