Tasmanian Freight Logistics Team to be formed

Expressions of interest are going to be sought from individuals wanting to serve on the new, soon-to-be-established Tasmanian Freight Logistics Coordination Team.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, said the body, which is being established with funds from the $20 million federal assistance package, will advise on the measures required to improve the State’s freight and logistics networks.

“This work will include the development of a long term freight strategy for Tasmania,” said Mr Albanese.

“Tackling the commercial realities which led to the loss of international shipping services in the first place will be helped by the State’s various industries working together, and that’s a key part of what this new body will aim to achieve.”

Tasmanian Infrastructure Minister, David O’Byrne, said the same federally-funded package had already provided $14.5 million in direct shipping transition assistance to the State’s exporters.

“This assistance recognised the intense pressure on Tasmanian exporters from the high Aussie dollar, and the loss of the State’s only international container service due to market changes – all factors beyond the control of both exporters and governments,” said Mr O’Byrne.

Tasmania has had no direct international shipping since the Bell Bay facility ceased direct operations in April 2011 and subsequently all export freight has to be shipped to Melbourne prior to leaving for overseas markets. The added cost and delays associated with this has seriously undermined the profitability especially for the export of Tasmania’s agricultural products.

Advertisements calling for applications from interested individuals to serve on the new logistics team will appear in Tasmanian newspapers within the next week.

Chair of the Tasmanian Infrastructure Advisory Council – Philip Marcus Clark AM – will also take on the role as Chair of the Coordination Team, with the first meeting of this new body to be held before the end of the year.

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