Hodgman Tasmania State Govt Signs MOU For Bass Strait Shipping

Hodgman Tasmania State Govt Signs MOU For Bass Strait Shipping

Tasmania Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding

Memorandum Signing A Step Forward For International Shipping

Victor P Taffa

The Hodgman Tasmania State Government has taken another step toward delivering its commitment of re-establishing a direct international shipping service to Tasmania with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Swire Shipping, Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding said.

The Singapore-based Swire was selected as the preferred operator after careful consideration of a range of expressions of interest and much work with the shipping industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This MOU is an agreement to negotiate in good faith with the Tasmanian Government to establish a direct international container shipping service from Tasmania and paves for the way for Swire to commence a period of market testing.

“We expect to see representatives of Swire Shipping in Tasmania in coming weeks for further face to face discussions about next steps.” Mr. Hidding said.

“We are progressing this policy because a direct service will assist many Tasmanian businesses with both import and export freight and will provide direct port access to important Asian markets.”

“From day one, the Tasmanian Government has been lobbying the Australian Government for an extension of the TFES (Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme) to all north-bound freight at the current rates of assistance.” Mr. Hidding said.

“This would cost the Federal Government around $25 Million extra p.a. but they have made it clear to us that no new money is on the table.”

“While we know not all exporters will use a direct container service, many will, and we simply cannot delay progress on our policy by waiting for potential policy changes in other areas.”

“It was on Labor’s watch that Tasmania lost our only direct international shipping link, leading to increased freight costs and job losses.” Mr. Hidding said.

“They then did nothing for years until, in the shadows of a looming election and forced to respond to Liberal leadership on this matter, they cobbled together a limp, unfunded response.”

“In contrast, the Liberal Government took decisive action to reintroduce an international shipping service from Tasmania to key Asian ports and committed up to $33 Million over three years to work with the market and find a viable, long term sustainable solution for our exporters and we’re getting on with the job.” Mr. Hidding said.