“The reforms to the Coastal Trading Act outlined today by the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development would be an obvious win for the economy, make Australian businesses more competitive, and support job creation right around the country,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“At the core of the problem are anti-competitive trading restrictions and excessive red tape which lock in poor productivity and high shipping rates.
“This imposes unnecessarily high costs on business and harms job creation, particularly in the manufacturing sector, Tasmania and regional Australia.
“The proposed simpler permit will make it easier to source coastal shipping services at competitive rates, while maintaining high standards for safety and environmental protection.
“The Productivity Commission and the recent Harper Competition Policy Review have identified the need for deregulation to address the serious competitiveness problems in our coastal shipping sector.
“Given the long distances between Australia’s ports, we should not accept anything less than an open, globally competitive coastal shipping sector.
“It is critical that the parliament prioritises the national interest and gives its support to these shipping reforms,” Ms Westacott said.
For further information contact:
Matt Newton, Communications Adviser
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2622 • Mobile 0409 550 578