House debates

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Tasmania: Economy

2:13 pm

Photo of Andrew WilkieAndrew Wilkie (Clark, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Bass Strait remains the biggest brake on the Tasmanian economy. That's no wonder, when the Victorian government imposes an unconstitutional tax on interstate trade with its mandatory charge on the Port of Melbourne. The Tasmanian government is rorting the federally funded 'bring your car for free' promotion by jacking up passenger and cabin fees on the Spirit of Tasmania and now Australia Post has made the absurd decision to ban the carriage of perishable goods from 30 June. Prime Minister, the current freight and passenger vehicle cost equalisation schemes don't address such challenges, so will you intervene, help Tasmanians and their businesses and finally fix the biggest brake on the Tasmanian economy?

2:19 pm

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

Thanks to the Prime Minister for asking me to answer the member for Clark's question. He knows like I do and like we all do that Australia's supply chains are vital. The Australian government is committed to supporting the Tasmanian economy and businesses to ensure that they remain competitive and prosperous through the COVID-19 recovery. As the House would be aware, the member for Clark raised this particular matter on Thursday 4 February in this place. I asked the member to provide evidence of these claims, and he has since done so, and I thank him for that. Upon receipt of this, I arranged for the information to be provided to the Tasmanian government, which manages the TT-Line service. Just this morning, the Tasmanian government advised me that it is still investigating the matters raised and has confirmed that it will provide me with more information once its investigation process is complete.