5 Austl. & N.Z. Mar. L.J. 3 (1988)

handle is hein.journals/ausnewma5 and id is 1 raw text is: Cabotage and the colonial corset:
The great Australian bind
M. L. McConnell*
The Australian Industries Assistance Commission of Inquiry into Coastal
Shipping is merely the latest in a series of commissions of inquiry into the subject.
The author examines the debate on the introduction of the Navigation Act 1912
and concludes that Australia will again adopt middle of the road policies
which are not fully supportive of either shipper or shipping interests.
Approbation and immense interest have greeted the recent institution of
an inquiry into Australian coastal shipping by the Industries Assistance
Commission (IAC).' One commentator, convinced that Australian coastal
shipping existed in a state of scandalous inefficiency stated that it was
the first time there has been a proper inquiry into the industry.2 Another
commentator applauded the inquiry but lamented the express exclusion of
the waterfront operations from the ambit of the examination.3 The terms of
reference are to conduct an inquiry to elicit information about the
efficiency of the coastal shipping industry in Australia and its impact on
economic growth and employment within the economy and produce an
Information Report. The Commission, operating under this general
economic mandate, is directed to consider questions such as cost
structures of operating vessels, competitive forces affecting the industry,
freight charges, the impact of government assistance and regulation on the
operation and cost of services, linkages between the coastal shipping
industries and employment elsewhere in the Australian economy, and any
other factors affecting efficiency or competition in coastal shipping.4 The
scope of the inquiry is, however, restricted by the express exclusion of
waterfront operations and by the requirement that the Commission take
* The author is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney Faculty of Law. The author
wishes to thank Professor James Crawford for his helpful comments on the paper.
1 21 July 1987, 93/87, reference under s23 of the Industries Assistance Commission Act 1973
by the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce. Final Report scheduled for
submission July 1988. [The IAC issued a Draft Report on Coastal Shipping on 27 April 1988;
hearings are scheduled for Sydney and Melbourne in June 1988 - Ed.]
2 Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 28 December 1987, 10.
3 Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 31 December 1987, 8.
4 Supra nl.

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