May 7, 2013

The facts on the National Maritime Regulator laws

I was surprised to read Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson’s comments that he is waiting to see “more detail” before endorsing the national maritime laws.

Mr Emerson has all the detail he needs.

It was Mr Emerson himself, in May 2012, who agreed on behalf of the Queensland government to the National Laws.

Contrary to what Mr Emerson said earlier this morning, commercial boat operators will not face extra costs under the National Laws.

Queensland subsidises their commercial vessels and licencing fees at a rate of 65 per cent of costs. This differs from most other jurisdictions which have a full cost or near full cost recovery model.  As Minister Emerson knows, there is nothing in the national maritime regulator laws that requires Queensland to remove that subsidy.

The National Law allows each Government to deliver services to its industry and set its own cost recovery rate. The Queensland Government will continue the set the fees for the services they deliver in Queensland.

Five years of hard work by all states and territories and industry has delivered the national maritime regulator laws.

The benefits it will offer to the Australian economy and to Australians who own, run, work or travel on domestic commercial vessels are undeniable – $30 billion over twenty years in productivity gains to the national economy.

Under the Seamless National Economy partnership, Queensland will receive $92 million for joining the national maritime regulator system. Queensland received the first payment of $41 million in June 2012, with the remaining $51 million to flow in June 2013 conditional upon Queensland supporting the national maritime regulator reforms.