A Boost for Tasmanian Exporters Thu 24 May 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Infrastructure The Infrastructure Minister, David O'Byrne, today gave further details about the recently-announced $20 million dollar Export Assistance Package. The Tasmanian and Federal Governments have been working closely in recent weeks, to decide how the package should be invested to provide maximum benefit for Tasmanian exporters. "This $20 million package is an important one-off opportunity to help ease freight pressures on our exporters, and support Tasmanian jobs," Mr O'Byrne said. "We fought hard to earn this funding from the Federal Government, and we've worked hard to see it invested most effectively. "The Tasmanian Government's first priority for this funding has always been to provide direct and immediate help to exporters - particularly those impacted by the loss of the AAA international container service in April last year. "Therefore, I'm very pleased to confirm that most of the funding ($14.5 million) will be allocated to a one-off grant program to help exporters transition to the new shipping environment. "Another $4 million will fund the first stage of infrastructure improvements at the Burnie port, to provide more efficient container movements. "As Tasmania's main container port, those improvements at Burnie will offer major benefits to all Tasmanian shippers," he said. Mr O'Byrne said the assistance package is another example of the Tasmanian Government working closely with business and the Commonwealth to generate real industry solutions for industry. "As a Labor Government, we're getting directly involved in helping export industries adapt to market changes," Mr O'Byrne said. "Unlike the Liberal opposition, we have a comprehensive infrastructure plan for Tasmania, backed by years of near-record investment. "This Export Assistance Package is a very welcome development, and a strong outcome for Tasmanian industry and jobs," he said. The State Government has also agreed to an Australian Government proposal, which allocates $1.5 million of the package towards an industry-led Freight Logistics Coordination Team. The new group will examine strategic issues affecting Tasmania's freight and logistics sector. The grant program's guidelines and application forms will provide more information of who's eligible for assistance. The forms are being finalised as a priority, and will be publicly advertised in early June.