INDUSTRY bodies have combined to argue for an extension of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme to southbound imported goods.
The report was prepared at the behest of the Tasmanian Logistics Committee, RDA Tasmania and the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce.
The report recognises challenges for Tasmanian businesses who rely on non-Australian product.
According to the report:
Extending the southbound TFES to imported goods which have no Australian-made alternatives, and serve as inputs into the value-added chain for Tasmanian industry sectors, will directly drive profitability, investment and increased employment opportunities similar to the results achieved with the extension of the northbound scheme.
The Tasmanian Logistics Committee noted an announcement by Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Gee in August 2019 to include this recommendation into the existing scheme
The report note the state achieved its goal in 2016 to support Tasmanian exporters with the extension of the TFES to cover northbound international exports transhipped via mainland ports.
This initiative is said to have since delivered “significant results” for Tasmanian exporters.
“However, there remains one last hurdle to making the TFES scheme fully effective and consistent given the cost disadvantage applies equally to southbound freight as it does to northbound,” the report stated.”
The authors noted the scheme had always excluded imported southbound product as such product could be shipped direct into Tasmania.
“However, this option no longer applies,” they noted.
“As is the case with non-bulk Tasmanian product destined for export which requires transhipment through a mainland port, imported product destined for Tasmania generally also requires transhipment through a mainland port.”
The authors have noted several benefits from a southbound extension:
- Improved confidence in the business model of Tasmanian industry
- New investment in plant and equipment
- Improved employment outcomes
- Sustainability and comparable outcomes on a par with mainland exporters
Improve the case for industry sector participants to remain in Tasmania