I welcome today’s announcement that Bell Bay will once again have a direct international shipping service to Asia.
The agreement between Bell Bay Aluminium and Swire Shipping Australia for the commencement of a monthly shipping service from next month gives Bell Bay access to vital Asian markets, including Singapore.
This is the first step towards a longer term solution and it’s an important vote of confidence by both companies in the future of manufacturing in the Bell Bay region.
Australia is an island continent and shipping carries 99 per cent of Australia’s trade by volume making it the fourth largest shipping task in the world.
Manufacturing communities all around Australia understand the importance of shipping; without shipping Australia can’t get its resources, products or produce to the global markets.
Australia must be an active player in the international shipping industry.
That is why the Government undertook its world leading shipping reforms in July last year. Under the Federal Government’s plan, Australian shipping has a zero tax rate, various fiscal incentives and internationally competitive employment conditions.
Without these reforms Australia risks becoming nothing more than the customer of others.
The Federal Labor Government has set out to create an environment that encourages investment and Australia’s involvement in international shipping. Putting in place a sustainable shipping model will allow Australia to compete on a level playing field against the rest of the world.