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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 90

Mr NIKOLIC (Bass) (15:38): I wish to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER: Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr NIKOLIC: I do, indeed.

The SPEAKER: Please proceed.

Mr NIKOLIC: On 7 December, a Tasmanian Labor senator, Senator Anne Urquhart, claimed in a media release that I had misled parliament by falsely claiming Labor's 2012 coastal shipping legislation had resulted in a 63 per cent increase in freight rates for Bell Bay Aluminium within my electorate of Bass. Senator Urquhart's assertions were regrettably published by the Launceston Examiner on 9 December. But my claim about a highly damaging 63 per cent increase in freight costs at Belly Bay Aluminium is supported by submissions the company made to the Productivity Commission in both December 2013 and February 2014. I will quote briefly the relevant section:

Following the introduction of the Coastal Trading Act 2012, BBA faced increased costs from $18.20 a tonne in 2011 to $29.70 in 2012, or a 63 per cent increase.

Senator Urquhart must therefore accept the truth of my comments and the appalling damage of Labor's coastal shipping charges, which have destroyed jobs in my home state of Tasmania and in the rest of Australia, which all depend on efficient sea freight.