DEVONPORT Mayor Steve Martin has renewed calls for public support for a national sea highway, less than two weeks out from the issue being raised in Federal Parliament.
Denison independent MHR Andrew Wilkie and Queensland independent MHR Bob Katter will present a motion to the House of Representatives, calling for Bass Strait to be linked to the national highway network on March 18.
Additionally, they will call for the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme to include the movement of people, and domestic and international imports and exports.
The move will prompt national political debate about passenger and freight equality for Tasmania, from which the state has been excluded since Federation.
Mr Wilkie told Parliament in February that the cost of travelling Bass Strait made commercial pursuits unsustainable.
"Bringing down the cost of moving people and freight to and from Tasmania is indeed the one thing governments can do at relatively low cost to bolster the Tasmanian economy and reduce its dependency on Canberra," Mr Wilkie said.
Alderman Martin was part of a seven-person contingent, including long-time freight equalisation advocate Peter Brohier, that lobbied political parties for the highway.
Alderman Martin said a highway could allow Tasmanians to cross Bass Strait for up to $60, the same price that a person travelling from Melbourne to Wagga Wagga would pay by bus on the national highway.
"It would also make consumables and perishables that are south-bound into Tasmania - which cannot access the current freight equalisation scheme - cheaper for Tasmania, and therefore lower the cost of living," Alderman Martin said.
"They treat it as though it is too hard, but the federal Infrastructure Department already operates formulas for freight equalisation.
"They need to be tweaked, with the outcome for equality."
Alderman Martin said a sea highway would allow Tasmanian producers and exporters to compete on a level playing field with their national counterparts.
"We have to try and create a little bit of hype," he said. "We are applying a bit more pressure, and are getting it out there in the community."