TMEC Media Release: Coastal Shipping Reform

The Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council (TMEC) fully endorses the very valid points which the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Warren Truss, has put to Parliament in support of the very necessary reforms required to increase productivity and efficiency to deliver an appropriate level of international competivity with regard to Coastal Shipping in Australia.

In a recent submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport whilst referencing South 32 Manganese Smelter, Bell Bay Aluminium, Nyrstar and Norske Skog, TMEC President, Mr Ray Mostogl said “These major industries are a part of global businesses, therefore attracting ongoing investment is always subject to internal competition with similar operating plants scattered around the globe. It is this feature which consistently drives the need for these industries to have access to internationally competitive services and pricing.

The revenue for these industries are a function of volume and global commodity prices, therefore the cost of converting the resources is a key determinant of being viable. Moving materials into and out of the state is a key feature in the operating models of these businesses and due to the geography, shipping product is the sole means of transporting product.  Internationally cost competitive and reliable sea freight is essential.”

The “engine room” of the Tasmanian Economy is reliant on six major businesses that contribute 49% of Tasmania’s export revenue.  Without urgent and decisive Federal changes to Coastal Trading, this “engine room” will be damaged, and the ensuing “domino effect” will detrimentally impact supporting businesses across the wider Tasmanian economy.

TMEC supports the Government’s assertion that “By making coastal shipping more competitive, the Government is supporting growth and the expansion of jobs in Tasmania’s manufacturing, mining, horticultural and agricultural industries.”

TMEC believes that a cost effective, sustainable and competitive shipping sector is vital to the long term prosperity of many of the businesses that are the cornerstones of Tasmania’s economy.