Tasmanian Infrastructure Manager welcomes announcement of AU$20M assistance package for state's exporters, says federal government recognizing pressure on exporters from high Australian dollar, loss of state's only international container service

HOBART, Tasmania , March 26, 2012 (press release) – The Infrastructure Minister, David O’Byrne, this afternoon welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a $20 million assistance package for Tasmanian exporters.

The funding, to be administered by the Tasmanian Government, has been assigned to help local exporters reach international markets.

“We’ve been working closely with local industry and the Federal Government on this issue for more than six months,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“I’m very pleased that the Federal Government has recognised the pressure on Tasmanian exporters from the high Australian dollar, and the loss of the State’s only international container service due to market changes.

“I congratulate Prime Minister Gillard and Minister Albanese for their leadership in providing this urgent assistance funding.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Federal Government, while using the package to support Tasmanian industry and jobs,” he said.

Mr O’Byrne said the Tasmanian Government, and many involved in local industry, still believe an affordable adjustment to the Freight Equalisation Scheme (to include north-bound exports) is one of the most effective ways to support Tasmanian exporters in the longer term.

“However, this afternoon’s announcement of short-term assistance will come as welcome news for Tasmanian traders affected by forces beyond their own or the Government’s control,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“We look forward to working towards a long-term strategy with Infrastructure Australia,” he said.

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