The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, asked the Prime Minister the following question on Bass Strait transport costs in Question Time today.
“Prime Minister the cost of getting people, vehicles and freight in and out of Tasmania is a very significant brake on our economic development.
“The cost of Bass Strait’s also one of the easiest problems to fix, making the current situation all the more frustrating.
“Prime Minister, will you commit to a single and effective cost equalisation scheme for Tasmania covering all vehicles, passengers and freight, including exports bound for international markets?”
Following the Prime Minister’s response, Mr Wilkie made the following comments.
“The Prime Minister’s commitment today to his election promise regarding Bass Strait is welcome. Just before the federal election the Coalition promised to conduct a Productivity Commission and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission review into Tasmania’s shipping costs, and his statement today to in fact do so is good news for Tasmania.
“Provided the review has a broad mandate to inquire into all elements of Bass Strait transport and the Government commits to act on the final recommendation it promises to be an eventual resolution to this pressing matter.
“The cost of getting people, vehicles and freight in and out of the State, including to and from international markets, is the most significant brake on the Tasmanian economy and the Productivity Commission and ACCC are well placed to look in to the matter.
“The Prime Minister’s answer also contained a commitment to the broader Coalition Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania, and in particular funding to extend the runway at Hobart Airport. This is also a welcome development because the expansion of Hobart Airport will enable it to become a genuine international gateway for people and produce.”