10 May 2023

Councils invest in study to explore freight subsidies

| Samuel Davis
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A STUDY into the impact rising freight costs will have on remote communities has been commissioned by the Torres and Cape Indigenous Councils Alliance.

The research coincides with Sea Swift increasing the cost of shipping cargo by 14.5 per cent across all service routes.

TCICA chair and Kowanyama mayor Robbie Sands said the work would inform arguments around a potential freight subsidy for the region in the future.

“Rising fuel costs, severe climatic conditions, poor infrastructure, and the challenges of operating in remote environments all combine to drive up the cost of delivering freight to communities in our region,” Cr Sands said.

“It has become a major cost burden for some of the country’s most disadvantaged people, and constrains the development of much-needed infrastructure like housing, community facilities and roads.

“Our communities will continue to be held back from the economic and social opportunities we desperately need if this issue isn’t addressed, and the gap will never be closed.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui met with Sea Swift chief executive Dwayne Freeman last week.

“It is important for me to not only make Seaswift (sic) aware of the serious impact freight increase will have on my communities but also to be part of the solution to address the issue moving forward,” Ms Lui posted on social media.

“Today’s meeting with Dwayne will be one of many to come, and I look forward to working with him towards a positive outcome.”

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