ASA concern over Access Economics Report

14th Mar 2012

The Australian Shipowners Association (ASA) has expressed concern about the assumptions made by the Deloitte Access Economics report, parts of which have been commented on in the media today.

The report seems to suggest that there will be fundamental changes to increase the use of Australian ships and radically decrease the use of foreign ships operating in Australian coastal trades.

“ASA simply doesn’t see much of a change in the mix of foreign and Australian shipping resulting from the new Bill” said ASA’s Executive Director, Ms Teresa Hatch.

“Commentary focused on the proposed transitional licenses is very perplexing” said Ms Hatch.

“The transitional licenses will have no effect what-so-ever on shipping costs. The Bill allows over 5 years for foreign flagged ships to ‘transition’, which is long enough for the existing foreign flagged, licensed operators to see out existing contracts. These ships are already crewed with Australians, so the operating environment and cost base will be unchanged for these vessels.”

The design of the complete shipping reform package is aimed to level the playing field by making Australian shipping more competitive and consideration of the entire package is very important in that regard.

There has been a lot of jumping at shadows for the past month or so as the industry has grappled with the proposed change in the way coastal trading will work in Australia. The Bill does not limit access to foreign ships, nor does it demand the use of Australian ships.

“Change is usually a difficult process and this has been no different” said Ms Hatch.

Contact: Karen Shaw 0400 546 561


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