TASMANIAN sea freight exporters can expect federal help this week to ease the cost of international shipping since the last regular service was cut two years ago.
But it might not be the $25 million a year for four years that the government's own appointed Tasmanian Freight Logistics Coordination team has recommended.
Federal Infrastructure Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is expected in the North of the state tomorrow to announce a short-term plan to help exporters struggling to cope with escalating freight costs since the last weekly international container service pulled out of Bell Bay.
A spokeswoman for Mr Albanese said that speculation of $30 million over two years for an overseas freight link to trump the state Liberals' proposed $33 million over three years was not true.
She would not confirm details of the imminent announcement but said that Mr Albanese's office had been working closely with the federally-funded freight logistics coordination team and the state government to come up with a suitable solution to the long-running issue.
``We are committed to working with the industry to solve its problems and we will have more to say shortly,'' she said.
A spokesman for Premier Lara Giddings said that the state was confident that the federal freight package would be consistent with the needs of industry and the work of the freight logistics coordination team.
Freight logistics coordination team chairman Philip Clark has recommended in an as yet unreleased report obtained by The Examiner that the state should immediately get $100 million over four years.
He said that it should go to exporters caught up in the international freight issue to tide them over while the team does further investigation to come up with a long-term solution.
Mr Albanese is expected to go with this recommendation but not with the amount of money that Mr Clark wants.