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Tasmanian freight scheme ‘loophole’ closed

Government extends subsidy to Tasmanian businesses disadvantaged under one-way freight scheme

The Rudd Government has closed a “loophole” in a freight scheme that only gave assistance to goods traveling one way.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese has amended the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme, which was created to provide transport-related funding for Tasmanian businesses freighting goods to the mainland.

The Rudd Government will provide a $2.8 million subsidy over four years to make up for the scheme’s shortfall, which failed to account for the multiple trips freight had to make before reaching the mainland.

Flinders and King Island-based companies were disadvantaged because freight had to travel to Tasmania before being shipped to the mainland.

“By allowing products to leave Flinders or King Island and travel to mainland Australia via the mainland of Tasmania in a continuous journey we are ensuring that no businesses are inadvertently disadvantaged,” Member for Bass Jodie Campbell says.

Albanese says the freight scheme now recognises the unique situation in which businesses on Flinders Island find themselves, in that there is no regular direct shipping service between the island and Port Melbourne.

“To address this situation we will make sure these businesses can access the scheme’s recently introduced intrastate subsidy,” he says.
“What we are essentially doing here is closing a loophole,” Campbell says.

The scheme will now extend to companies which produce or manufacture goods on Flinders Island for use or sale on mainland Australia.
It will also subsidise companies that use more than one type of transport mode to complete the interstate journey.

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