Oct 20, 2008

Parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s Coastal shipping

Parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s Coastal shipping

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

October 20 2008

A bipartisan report from the parliamentary inquiry into Coastal Shipping Policy and Regulation has tonight been tabled in the House of Representatives.

I would like to thank the members of the House of Representatives Committee on Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government for completing this report with such urgency.

It offers practical solutions to the critical challenges facing the Australian industry – a declining number of Australian registered trading vessels; an ageing fleet; a shortage of skilled maritime employees; and growing demands from industry for greater policy certainty from government.

The Government will now consider the report’s recommendations in detail and respond to each of them during 2009.

It is obvious from the number of submissions received by the Committee that there is significant interest in the future of the Australian industry.

The submissions covered a broad range of issues, demonstrating the complexity of the issues involved in strengthening the industry’s competitiveness and sustainability.

The Government recognises that coastal shipping is a key sector of the transport industry and a vital contributor to the national economy, given that Australia’s international trade is dependent upon shipping.