Exports from Tasmania in decline

EXPORTS from Tasmania have been in decline for the past five years after peaking in 2007, data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today reveals.

The figures show the value of freight exported internationally from Tasmania dropped from a high of $3.75 billion in 2007 to $3 billion in 2012.

Last year appeared to be headed for a total of $2.8 billion, with a freight on board value of $2.6 billion for the first 11 months of the year.

That would make it the lowest level of international export since 2005.

The Tasmanian Government last month committed to developing a freight strategy to help manage the problem, after a 12 months review by the Freight Logistics Coordination Team found international exporters needed ``immediate transitional assistance.''

However, Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne has said he will not support the opposition's proposal to attract a direct international container shipper by providing government assistance of up to $11 million a year for three years, preferring a market-based solution.

The Productivity Commission is currently considering potential changes to the Freight Equalisation Scheme to improve conditions for Tasmanian exporters, including allowing freight which is shipped across Bass Strait in order to be exported from another port to be covered by the scheme.

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