The Government of Australia has put forward a set of proposals to reform the country's coastal shipping sector in a newly released discussion paper.
The proposals set out in the Coastal Shipping Reforms Discussion Paper seek to improve Australia's freight transport network by reducing the long-distance cargo traffic on highways and railway lines.
Several seafarer training initiatives are also included in the plans, which will aim to develop and retain critical maritime skills across Australia.
The government has urged the ship operators, shipping companies, and other relevant stakeholders to provide their feedback on the new proposals.
Australia Government Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said: “15% of Australia's domestic freight is currently moved by ship, but with Australia's extensive coastline and broad network of ports there is the potential for shipping to play a larger role in the national freight task.
“However, it has become clear that limitations in the current regulatory system are working against that potential being realised.
“We need to address a range of administrative issues in the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012, which place unnecessary burdens on shipping companies and the Australian businesses that rely on coastal shipping.”
The minister also noted that the recently released discussion paper would intend to modify the Coastal Trading Act in order to improve the general performance of the country’s coastal shipping industry.
Image: Australia’s infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester. Photo: courtesy of Darren Chester MP.