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The Forum > Article Comments > Itís time for a free trade agreement with Tasmania > Comments

Itís time for a free trade agreement with Tasmania : Comments

By Andrew Baker, published 14/8/2012

The Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme subsidises trade between Tasmania and the Australian mainland.

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I agree that the TFES has major problems in the way it is designed and implemented.

However, the author makes no mention of the road subsidies coveral national highways accross Australia. So, to take his example, of send goods via sea from Melbourne to Perth receives no subsidy, but by road there are substaintial tax payer contributions. Road, with its tax payer support, is not an option when moving goods to and from Tasmania.
Posted by John W, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 8:26:14 AM
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A user-pays vs cross-subsidies debate! And I must declare a bias, being a recent immigrant to Tasmania. I have no issue with Andrew's position (in theory) but subsidisation occurs everywhere, largely (but not always) for greater social good. GST redistribution benefits Tassie, the flood levy doesn't, the TFES benefits Tassie, the multi-billion motor industry bailouts and mining industry incentives don't...swings and roundabouts.

An Australia where strict user-pays was the rule would be a very different place indeed.
Posted by Greg H, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 9:30:23 AM
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Silly article only a person working for a lobby group in the Sydney or Melbourne CBD would even come up with something as silly as this argument.
Posted by Kenny, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 10:55:41 AM
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A free trade agreement with Tassie? What? Is it a foreign country?
We subsidise diesel for mining, farming and transport industries; and there are many other subsidies and or bailouts, which patently disadvantage tiny Tassie.
We've all but killed their timber industry and now another asinine bean counter, wants to virtually shut down their tourist industry?
We confront a future where Tasmania and its surplus water will likely underpin our next and badly needed national food bowl.
What we should be doing is building a rail tunnel from the Mornington peninsula and under King Island, Fourex Islands etc, to Tassie, and then run a user pays, very rapid rail service.
With that in place, we could then talk about removing subsidies etc, given the advantages such a project would inevitably confer?
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 10:58:40 AM
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Only a city-dweller would produce such a load of bollocks.

I might not agree with the TFES, but the desire to make the playing field level ignores the metaphorical mountain ranges on it.

The author would penalise country folk, such as I, because we choose to live where there is no light rail, no (or little) bus service, only two trains each way per day, no ferries and so forth. Apparently, all that inner-city infrastructure was deposited on his door step by magic.

Talk to the outer suburban fringe and listen to another opinion - again, few services, little infrastructure and a good argument that the world is not fair.

By arguing for the extreme outcome - removal of TFES entirely - the author has ignored all argument about its values and the ways in which it could be improved, enhanced or scaled back.

Let's hear a detailed for-and-against case before we rush to such an extreme conclusion.

Apparently, it's OK for governments to subsidise ferries which cross a harbour but not larger vessels which cross the Bass Straight, although both provide comparable services to their respective communities. That, dear readers, is indeed a shallow argument.
Posted by JohnBennetts, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 11:50:28 AM
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What universe do you live in Rhrosty?

Do you really get all this stuff wrong, or are you knowingly lying, & hoping many won't notice, & even fall for the rubbish.

The transport industry pays a huge tax bill on it's fuel, there is certainly no subsidy.

Farming is only given it's fuel less the original road tax, now renamed to try to avoid criticism, when it's stuck into general revenue.

Then we get this "We've all but killed their timber industry". It is the greens, you, that have killed timber in Tassie. Of course they deserve what they get there, they are the ones stupid enough to vote you lot into control of their future. The sooner they realise there is no future, except under a rock, for any one silly enough to vote green, the sooner they may recover.
Posted by Hasbeen, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 3:53:50 PM
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