Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese

Media Release

18 June 2012

Today heralds a bright new era for Australian shipping with the Senate passing the Government's Shipping Industry Reforms which will revitalise the nation's shipping industry.

The Federal Labor Government's Stronger Shipping for a Stronger Economy reforms represent the most significant overhaul of the Australian shipping industry in 100 years.

Australia has a proud maritime history and these important reforms will ensure our country has a strong and prosperous maritime future. The Bills include:

  • Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Bill;
  • Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill;
  • Shipping Registration Amendment (Australian International Shipping Register) Bill;
  • Shipping Reform (Tax Incentives) Bill; and
  • Tax Laws Amendment (Shipping Reforms) Bill.

In the past decade the Australian fleet has gone from 55 ships to 21, with only four operating on international routes.

In a country where 99.9 per cent of our trade is moved by ships, without action there would soon be no fleet left.

That's why the Government has acted-we want to see a bright and prosperous future for shipping in Australia.

Our reforms put in place a zero tax rate for Australian shipping companies, along with a suite of other fiscal measures, ensuring that Australian ships will be able to compete against their international competitors on a level playing field.

They also complete the first major rewrite of century old maritime laws which will be administered and enforced by the Australian Maritime Safety Regulator, through the Navigation Act 2012.

The Government is determined to create an environment that will encourage and sustain growth and productivity in our shipping industry. Investing in a competitive and growing domestic shipping industry is good for our economy, our environment and our national security.

Supporters of Labor's Historic Shipping Reforms

"I just want to say that the shipowners are ready to invest and this is a great day in terms of a new era for Australian shipping

"Shipowners are quite committed to their investment decisions and they're looking forward to expanding into new trades, into new international opportunities that have never been available to us before."

Teresa Lloyd, Australian Shipowners Association