DEPUTY Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has defended his decision to invest $190,000 into a Hobart light rail business case study, while Tasmania's international shipping issues remain unresolved.
Mr Albanese said the government could "walk and chew gum at the same time" and had already invested more than $100 million in improving Tasmania's Freight Equalisation Scheme.
He said bringing an international shipping service to Tasmanian ports was not the business of government.
"There's something called a market," he said.
"The Australian government doesn't run international ships, we don't have ships." The federal government committed $22 million towards freight in Tasmania in May.
Freight and international shipping is expected to be a central part of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's economic policies for Tasmania, which are tipped to be announced in Launceston today.