Freight subsidy scheme being exploited by Tasmania for forestry fix, says Wilkie

By Leon Compton
ABC News, Australia
November 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government is being accused of rorting a federal subsidy scheme to help solve a lingering forestry issue. The Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) helps Tasmanian producers overcome their geographic disadvantage, helping them sell into interstate markets at competitive prices. In 2016 the Federal Government extended the scheme to include products exported internationally from Tasmania, so long as the goods were loaded into containers and trans-shipped through any Australian port. The program was allocated $200 million over four years — great news for Tasmania’s booming agriculture sector, with its eye on growing markets in Asia. But one company employed the scheme for shipping cheap logs, known as residues, out of Hobart. …Because Majestic Timbers is packing the logs into containers, and the ship heads to Asia via Melbourne, the company gets the money for freight under the federal scheme.

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