Jun 18, 2012

A Strong and Prosperous Maritime Future

Today heralds a bright new era for Australian shipping with the Senate passing the Government’s Shipping Industry Reforms which will revitalise the nation’s shipping industry.

The Federal Labor Government’s Stronger Shipping for a Stronger Economy reforms represent the most significant overhaul of the Australian shipping industry in 100 years. 

Australia has a proud maritime history and these important reforms will ensure our country has a strong and prosperous maritime future. The Bills include:

  • Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Bill
  • Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill
  • Shipping Registration Amendment (Australian International Shipping Register) Bill
  • Shipping Reform (Tax Incentives) Bill; and
  • Tax Laws Amendment (Shipping Reforms) Bill.

In the past decade the Australian fleet has gone from 55 ships to 21, with only four operating on international routes.

In a country where 99.9 per cent of our trade is moved by ships, without action there would soon be no fleet left.

That’s why the Government has acted – we want to see a bright and prosperous future for shipping in Australia.

Our reforms put in place a zero tax rate for Australian shipping companies, along with a suite of other fiscal measures, ensuring that Australian ships will be able to compete against their international competitors on a level playing field.

They also complete the first major rewrite of century old maritime laws which will be administered and enforced by the Australian Maritime Safety Regulator, through the Navigation Act 2012.

The Government is determined to create an environment that will encourage and sustain growth and productivity in our shipping industry. Investing in a competitive and growing domestic shipping industry is good for our economy, our environment and our national security.

Supporters of Labor’s Historic Shipping Reforms

“I just want to say that the shipowners are ready to invest and this is a great day in terms of a new era for Australian shipping”

“Shipowners are quite committed to their investment decisions and they’re looking forward to expanding into new trades, into new international opportunities that have never been available to us before.” 

Teresa Lloyd, Australian Shipowners Association, Doorstop, 31 May 2012

“This is, without doubt, one of the most important days in Australian maritime history. It marks the day that Australian shipping was saved from near-death.”

Paddy Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Doorstop, Media Release 18 June 2012 

“As a global shipping company with focus on reducing the environmental impact of transportation, WWL fully supports the intent of the legislation to rejuvenate Australian Flag shipping, offering better coastal services and reducing the number of trucks on the roads in Australia.” 

Arild Iversen, CEO & President, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, Letter, 2012

“It is fair to say, as the Government says, that this is the most far reaching, single block of reforms, probably ever in this country.” 

Stephen Thompson, Partner, Middletons Lawyers, Lawyers Weekly, 17 October 2011

“It’s about the realisation that we’re an island nation and that a vibrant and healthy shipping policy is integral to our well being.” 

Steve Pelecanos, Chairman, Brisbane Marine Pilots, Lloyds List DCN, 2 June 2011

“We, accordingly, support the establishment of a second Australian international register that offers cost advantages but preserves…standards of safety and crew welfare.”  

Ports Australia, AFR, 5 May 2011