Sunday 21st Oct, 2018

Three for the price of one from Senate Coastal Trading Committee

Image: Jim Wilson and Shutterstock
Image: Jim Wilson and Shutterstock

A SENATE committee examining proposed Coastal Trading legislation has produced not one, not two, but three reports on the subject.

The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee examined the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Amendment Bill 2017.

The result has been a lengthy report in favour of the legislation produced by government senators, as well as a dissenting version produced by the Labor Opposition and a smaller report from the Greens.

According to the government report, the Committee “notes that the bill does not propose substantial changes to the current coastal trading regime”.

“It does, however, propose a number of amendments which would reduce red tape and simplify the administration of the coastal trading regime.

“The committee also notes that the proposed changes will result in decreased costs and a reduction in the administrative burden – both for industry and the government,” the authors noted.

“The committee therefore supports the passing of the bill.”

In its dissenting report, Labor criticised a lack of bipartisanship.

“At no stage before or after the release of the Discussion Paper was the Opposition consulted about the merits or otherwise of possible amendments to the existing legislation,” the Labor report stated.

“Nor was it given a briefing on the final version of the Bill before it was tabled in the Parliament.”

Labor recommended the Bill be opposed “in its entirety”.

In their dissenting report, the Australian Greens warned deregulation of coastal shipping in Australia would lead to “a loss of Australian jobs, and will further embed a situation where we have ships on the seas that are not up to scratch and risk polluting our oceans and coastlines with oil spills”.

The Greens also indicated that they opposed the Bill.

The reports can be viewed on the Parliament of Australia website.

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