Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s visit to Tasmania yesterday failed to impress advocates for cheaper transport across Bass Strait. They say more needs to be done on the issue.
The ABC reports that the National Sea Highway Coalition's Peter Brohier said that Tasmanians and other Australians should be disappointed by the government’s position.
"He's not addressing the issue, why it doesn't make sense," Brohier said.
The government has pledged to provide Tasmanian exporters with $20 million worth of assistance to help send goods across Bass Straight.
The figure of $20 million will be matched by $20 million from the Tasmanian state government.
Most of this $40 million will be in the form of grants for projects to grow freight volumes and improve land-based logistics for Tasmanian manufacturers.
However, Brohier believes that this is not enough. "I would've liked to have seen Kevin Rudd announce a full national sea highway crossing Bass Strait covering all people, all freight and all vehicles," he said.
Now in opposition, the Tasmanian Liberal Party has pledged $33 million to directly fund a restarted international shipping service between Tasmania and Asia.
The Federal Liberal Party has pledged to get the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to review the situation.