The Business Council of Australia has told a Productivity Commission inquiry into Tasmanian shipping and freight that there is a need for the Abbott government to deregulate coastal shipping.
“Economic deregulation of the coastal shipping sector should be implemented to increase competitiveness and reduce costs, with positive flow-on impacts for productivity, investment and jobs in Tasmania and other regional economies across Australia,” according to the BCA.
Bell Ray claims that its freight costs had gone up from $18.20 to $29.70 per tonne, an increase of 63 per cent.
The inquiry’s terms of reference include shipping costs and competition across Bass Strait, barriers to international shipping to Tasmania, reforms that would increase productivity and competition, and the effectiveness of the current arrangements in moving cargo and people from the mainland to Tasmania.
The inquiry will conduct public hearings next month and deliver its final report on March 7.