Recently discussions by parliamentary leaders have focused on the future of Australian shipping and the flow on effects on our ability to move freight around the country and internationally.
We need this discussion, Australia’s current maritime shipping position is unsustainable and a potential risk to the nation’s economy.
Australia has a freight tsunami approaching with a freight task that is doubling and a population that is growing beyond all forecasts, we know the current national infrastructure is struggling to cope and we know the planned infrastructure won’t be enough.
Improved coastal shipping conditions and increasing the number of Australian flagged vessels are certainly one way of unlocking the potential of Australia’s blue highway and of providing an opportunity for young Australian’s to enter the maritime sector.
But coastal shipping and a national fleet are parts of the bigger puzzle of the best way to move freight in, out and around Australia.
Congestion, liveability and connectivity of our cities are critical issues in this year’s elections and are all linked to the ability to move freight efficiently in, out and around the country.
We need rail, road and shipping all working together to achieve a positive national outcome, and all three have a role to play.
Australia’s blue highway is not just free to use but connects to most of the population providing an opportunity to relieve the burdens on congested roads and rail.
Ports are Australia’s gateways to the world and facilitate almost all of Australia’s physical trade. Our ports need experienced mariners to continue to ensure Australia’s trade transpires effectively and without incident.