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Labor full steam with shipload of pain



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Joint Media Release

Warren Truss MP

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Sophie Mirabella MP

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science

Labor full steam with shipload of pain

A SURGE in shipping charges could lead to a flood of imports as Australian companies find it uneconomic to ship products around our coastline.

New research by Deloitte Access Economics reveals the true cost of federal Labor’s short-sighted sop to the Maritime Union. The proposed Coastal Trading Bill 2012 will exact a $466 million hit on our economy over the next decade, see freight charges soar by up to 16% and kill-off 570 full-time Australian jobs.

This is yet another Gillard-led assault on Australian businesses that rely on a globally competitive shipping sector to move freight around the country. Labor’s closed shop approach, at the behest of its union mates, will squeeze the life out of businesses, the Australian jobs they support and our international competitiveness.

It comes on top of the carbon tax, which will compound those pressures, push costs up year after year, and force the closure of local operations. But when it comes to this government and its wrecking-ball approach to the Australian economy… wait, there’s more.

Right now it costs about the same to ship products from China to Australia as it does to ship the same products from Adelaide to Port Kembla. Under these new shipping regulations, Labor will cut Australian production in preference for imports as they will be far cheaper.

Sugar is already being shipped from overseas direct to our southern ports because it’s cheaper than shipping it from eastern Australia.

Australian cement producers are world-leaders in low emission technology. They rely on coastal shipping to move their product. But our biggest competitors in cement - China, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand - will now be able to radically undercut Australian suppliers on shipping costs alone.

Such a shift to imports will put at risk some 1,800 Australian jobs in the cement industry but, paradoxically, will force global CO2 emissions to skyrocket.

[ENDS]

Media Contacts: Truss - Brett Heffernan on (02) 6277 4482 or 0467 650 020 or brett.heffernan@aph.gov.au Mirabella - John Mendel on (02) 6277 2301 or 0400 808 234 or john.mendel@aph.gov.au