Budget confirms additional funding for Tasmanian freight

Media Release

WT141/2015

13 May 2015

Shippers in the Apple Isle will benefit from an expanded Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme which will come into effect from 1 January 2016, as announced by the Prime Minister on 13 March and confirmed in yesterday's Federal Budget.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the expanded scheme will deliver an additional $202.9 million to freight shippers over the next four years to strengthen Tasmanian business, investment and job creation.

“This means the Scheme will provide about $50 million in extra funding every year for four years—that's on top of the current funding of $114.3 million a year,” Mr Truss said.

“The Australian Government is expanding the Scheme to cover northbound Bass Strait freight heading for markets not currently covered by the scheme.

“The expansion will provide Tasmanian industries with better opportunities to compete with mainland markets, recognising Tasmanian shippers do not have the option of using road or rail for transport across the Bass Strait.”

Mr Truss said the expansion of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme would make it more effective and better targeted.

“In the coming weeks businesses in Tasmania will be consulted about the details of implementation of the expanded scheme and associated administrative changes, with public information sessions to be held in Launceston and Hobart in early June,” Mr Truss said.

“Businesses and individuals will have the opportunity to give feedback on the Scheme's administrative arrangements going forward.”

The $202.9 million expansion to the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme is part of the Australian Government's plan to improve Tasmania's economic growth, employment and living standards.