Coastal shipping reforms good news for Tasmania

21 May, 2015

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, welcomed yesterday's announcement by Minister for Infrastructure Warren Truss that the Australian Government is moving ahead with coastal shipping reforms.

Senator Colbeck has advocated strongly about the need for coastal shipping reform since Labor bungled the system with their Coastal Trading Act which destroyed real competition on coastal shipping routes around Australia and increased shipping costs.

"As a state that relies heavily on shipping to move products to market, Tasmania will benefit from a more competitive and efficient coastal shipping industry. It will be vital to the state's ability to compete in the market and will provide greater flexibility for businesses," he said.

"I have spoken with a major business who told me it was cheaper to ship product from New Zealand to every port in Australia except Melbourne than it was to ship product from Tasmania - that is the result of Labor's bungled handling of coastal shipping."

"Another Tasmanian business, Simplot Australia, had an additional $550,000 per year added to their annual costs due to Labor's bungled changes to coastal shipping."

"This is costing Tasmanian business important markets."

"That's why our coastal shipping reforms are so important - they will deliver competitive, efficient services that Australian businesses need."

Labor's bungled reforms have resulted in less freight carried, less employment and fewer vessels on coastal routes, the exact opposite of what they promised.

Senator Colbeck said draft legislation was being developed and would be introduced before the end of the Winter Sittings.

Key features include cheaper freight costs, greater choice between shipping companies, simplified rules for moving cargo and more efficient services.

Further information about the Australian Government's plan for coastal shipping is available online at - http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/wt/releases/2015/May/wt149_2015_setting_sail_brochure.pdf

210515 Coastal shipping reforms good news for Tasmania
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