Logistics News

Shipping reform fronts parliament

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has introduced legislation to the lower house in a bid to revive the domestic shipping industry

March 22, 2012

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has introduced legislation to the lower house in a bid to revive the domestic shipping industry.

Albanese says the Stronger Shipping for a Stronger Economy Legislation, which was introduced to parliament Thursday, aims to reverse a steep decline in the nation’s fleet.

“In the past decade the Australian fleet has gone from 55 ships to 21 with only four operating on international routes,” he says.

“In a country where 99.9% of our trade is moved by ships, there will soon be no fleet to revitalise.”

“We need to act now or we won’t have an industry left at all.”

Australian ports manage ten per cent of the world’s entire sea trade and $200 billion worth of cargo is moved annually, according to government figures.

The reform package is comprised of four elements: tax reforms aimed at removing barriers to investment in Australian shipping; simplified regulatory framework with a transparent licensing regime; the establishment of an Australian International Shipping Register (AISR); and the establishment of a Maritime Workforce Development Forum.

But the shipping reform, which Albanese says is the ‘most far reaching overhaul of the Australian shipping industry since 1912’, has already come up against heavy opposition from the coalition.

Infrastructure and Transport Shadow Minister Warren Truss says under the Coastal Trading Bill 2012, one the reform’s five Bills, Australian companies will find it uneconomic to ship products around the coastline.

“The proposed Coastal Trading Bill 2012 will exact a $466 million hit on our economy over the next decade, see freight charges soar by up to 16 percent and kill-off 570 full-time Australian jobs,” he says.

Labor will need independent support for the legislation to pass through the lower house.

Previous ArticleNext Article
  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend