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WA coastal shipping closure may boost trucking

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Road transport operators appear best placed to step in after Jebsens Coastal Shipping Service withdrew from the Western Australian coastal trade.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell reportedly claims Swedish firm Jebsens wants $154,000 a week on top of the existing $8 million a year subsidy to keep the route open, which the Government refuses to pay.

The route between Perth and Darwin is loss-making and the WA Government is facing budget constraints.

Maritime Union of Australia members have begun industrial action and are refusing to unload the general cargoship Surenes that is in Broome on its last voyage.

It claims goods to north-west towns will cost 25 per cent more as a result of the sea route closing.

Jebsens started on the route in 2010 and the subsidy was to run until 2015.

Details from Buswell’s office were awaited at deadline today.

Source: Owner/Driver

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