Coastal shipping reform comment sought

Federal government want input as it looks to new direction

Coastal shipping reform comment sought
Australian shipping remains in the doldrums


The latest in a string of coastal shipping reform projects over the years is at the stage of seeking industry comment.

The federal government wants to roll back Labor reforms aimed at stimulating Australian shipping.

The Coalition says that effort has failed, contributing to less costal freight of any sort and with no resultant improvement in the Australian-flag fleet.

Releasing the government's Coastal Shipping Reforms Discussion Paper, infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester says coastal shipping could take long distance cargo off our highways and railway lines to ease future freight demands on the national transport network.

"Currently, 15 per cent of Australia's domestic freight is moved by ship, but with Australia's extensive coastline and broad network of ports, there is the potential for shipping to play a larger role in the national freight task," Chester says.

"However, it has become clear that limitations in the current regulatory system are working against that potential being realised.

"We need to address a range of administrative issues in the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012, which place unnecessary burdens on shipping companies and the Australian businesses that rely on coastal shipping.

"The intention of this discussion paper is to elicit views about how modifying the Act could help to redress this situation, without changing the basic structure of the current coastal trading regulatory regime.

"The discussion paper also proposes the introduction of a number of seafarer training initiatives aimed at developing and retaining critical maritime skills in Australia."

Written submissions to the discussion paper should be sent to by Friday, April 28.

The discussion papercan be found here.

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