THE Senate has released a report into the policy, regulatory, taxation, administrative and funding priorities for Australian shipping.

The report was prepared for the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee.

The report was welcomed by Labor senators Glenn Sterle and Carol Brown.

“Australia has the fifth largest shipping task in the world due to its exportation of significant raw commodities; reliance on imports arriving by sea; and long coastline, with diverse populations and industries,” their joint statement read.

“Further, it has a major offshore oil and gas sector; the world’s fastest growing cruise industry; responsibility for parts of the Antarctic region; material defence and border protection activities; and very active ports.”

According to the joint statement, the Australian shipping industry is in decline and has been for some time.

“Labor Senators endorse the recommendations in the report, namely one which would see the establishment of a strategic fleet that would not only focus on training and bolstering Australian workers in our shipping industry but which would also protect the interests of our economy and importantly, Australia’s fuel security,” the statement read.

“Labor is looking forward to receiving the government’s response and hope that this report will lead to meaningful change.”