TASMANIAN businesses reliant on sea freight to get their product to world markets thought that a federal election campaign would bring on the help wanted to solve their costly two-year-old crisis.
What a silly idea that turned out to be.
Exporters were promised government action to ease the pain of skyrocketing freight costs - more than $20million extra a year - since being forced to ship overseas via Melbourne instead of direct to Singapore.
They hoped that pushing their cause in the lead up to a federal election a couple of months before a state election would provide the political competition to encourage the money and ideas they needed from the campaign war chests.
That was naive.
What they've got instead is a political mess.
There's a state opposition promising $11million annually for three years as seeding money to encourage an international shipper to invest in a new service knowing that the bread and butter money was there while the trade built to a profitable level.
But the state Liberals can't get their federal colleagues to match the commitment.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott's solution so far is to promise a Productivity Commission report into the issue.
We don't need another report.
And Labor? Federal Infrastructure Minister and deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese came to Launceston early yesterday to announce his party's short-term fix to a problem that needed an urgent solution in August 2011.
Premier Lara Giddings, State Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne and a sea of federal Labor election candidates were at Home Point at 7.30am to reveal the plan that they have been working on for nearly a year.
Federal and state Labor governments will each provide half of a $40 million freight support package over two years to help medium and small producers improve their infrastructure to make them more export ready.
But there is still no freight service to take these cleverly produced goods to an international market.