O'Byrne receives report on freight

A LONG-awaited report examining the high cost of shipping freight across Bass Strait will be released before Christmas, after it was handed to the state government yesterday.

Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne, received the final report of the Freight Logistics Coordination Team, funded by $1.5 million from the former federal Labor government last year.

Mr O'Byrne said the report was the result of 12 months of detailed analysis and expert examination of freight and supply chain issues across Tasmania.

The group was expected to make recommendations about what government support was required to minimise costs and improve efficiency.

An interim report recommended $100 million in federal assistance over four years be provided to exporters and market-testing the commercial interest of international shipping providers to supplying direct bulk and container services to Asia, including a low- frequency, low-cost service choice.

"We know there is no silver bullet solution to the challenges Tasmania faces as an island state, but we know that having the most efficient freight system is crucial to the entire economy," Mr O'Byrne said.

"This report has been about clearly putting in focus the challenges and opportunities faced by Tasmanian exporters in getting their product to market."

The report's completion comes as a Productivity Commission review, requested by the new Coalition federal government gets under way. Their report is due in early March.

Mr O'Byrne said the report would be publicly released before Christmas, after consideration by the state government.

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