Australia’s government will introduce legislation in the lower house of Parliament Friday to remove a tax on domestic shipping companies in an effort to counter a 40 percent decline in the nation’s fleet in the past decade.
The legislation, a package of five bills, won’t prevent overseas companies from operating in Australia’s coastal trades, Transport Minister Anthony Albanese told Bloomberg.
“We have one of the most liberal coastal trading regimes in the world and this will not be changing,” Albanese said. “In the past decade, the Australian fleet has gone from 55 ships to 21, with only four operating on international routes.”
The fleet in Australia, which moves about 99.9 percent of trade by ships, has an average age of almost 20 years compared with a global average of 12 years, according to government figures.