In March 2015 the Australian Government responded to the Productivity Commission's (2014) Tasmanian Shipping and Freight Report by announcing the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) would be expanded from 1 January 2016 to provide assistance to goods going to markets not previously covered by the Scheme.
The announcement included a new monitoring process, with the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) to conduct an initial review of the expanded component in 2017 (this review). Thereafter, monitoring of the expanded component will become part of the BITRE's general TFES monitoring reviews commencing in 2019.
In terms of the level and appropriateness of the flat rate for the expanded component, BITRE's finding in this 2017 review are that:
- There is little relevant information on overall rate trends for freight shipped due to a limited claims history and many destinations.
- The appropriate benchmark for freight costs is the shipping cost across Bass Strait as, to be eligible, freight must be transhipped via an Australian mainland port.
BITRE sought public comment on a draft of this review in December 2017. Two submissions were received (including one after the finalisation of the report).
The Australian Government's response is available here.
- Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme Review of the expanded component
- Submission: Tasmanian Logistics Committee
- Submission: Tasmanian Government