University of Tasmania

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An examination of shipping costs and their effects on Tasmanian exporting industries : research project.

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posted on 2023-05-26, 20:04 authored by Haddon-Cave, Charles Phillip
Concurrently with other investigations, the Department of Economics and Commerce in this University during 1937, 1938 and 1939 conducted research into the cost structure of Australian industry. The research, Mr. D. L. Anderson, B.Com, prefaced his monograph by pointing out that the utility of such an investigation was difficult to define before the results of the investigation were known. The same observation may be made of the present study; the results of which can only be said to be indeterminate. Nor can the work done be justified on the grounds that it constitutes, to quote Anderson, \a first stop in a theoretical analysis which may finally result in same practical result such as the improvement of economic or technical efficiency.\" For example inductive confirmation of some of the currently hold theories of industrial location' wore sought but little light has been thrown on the applicability of such theories. It was decided to conduct an examination of the effects of shipping costs on specific industries for two reasons. Firstly the financial history of the State since Federation has emphasised the cost of Bass Strait to the Tasmanian community 'Being wholly dependent on sea carriage for the transportation of imports and exports every ship and every freight rate is a factor in the prosperity of the State. Secondly the survey conducted last year of the gross and net labour absorptive capacity of Tasmanian secondary industries suggested that the ruling level of shipping freight rates was a determining factor so far as output policies and industrial expansion were concerned. However it may even be that particularly where production economies are desired output is expanded in spite of freight costs. For a full understanding of the Tasmanian position it is necessary to realise that not only is Tasmania isolated from the other States but it is divided into four sections each of which is economically isolated from the others'. Although a very small State the climate and the quality of the soil vary considerably with the result that each section specialises in a particular branch of primary production. The West is an extensive mining field - its only port is Strahan. The North West Coast produces chiefly oats peas potatoes timber and fat stock and its interstate ports arc Stanley Burnie Devonport and Ulverstone. The North and North East produces chiefly wool grain hay and fruit and is served almost wholly by the port of Launceston. The chief primary products of the South are fruit and timber for which the interstate port is Hobart. The exportable output of the secondary industries is also distributed among the four groups of ports. In regard to secondary industry it is hardly necessary to stress the point that the tariff has not succeeded in promoting manufacturing industry in Tasmania. Owing to the absence of a home market the limited supply of labour and the insular position of the State with the keen mainland competition it is difficult to anticipate that manufacturing industries on a largo scale are likely to locate in Tasmania. On the other hand tho present State Government's declared policy of post war industrial development is understood to be yielding results and already a number of now establishments have commenced production. The continuance and extension of this policy will largely depend on the relative bargaining power of Tasmania as against other States anxious to develop industrially. As will be noted in Chapter VIII it must be realised that the term \"decentralisation of secondary industry\" means one thing to such industrialised states as Victoria and New South Wales and another to the outlying states particularly Tasmania and Western Australia. Chapter I relates to the affects of the Coasting Trade provisions of the Navigation Act of 1912-43. Whether Tasmania is worse off than she would be under free competition in shipping is questionable. Tasmania needs regularity of service more than any other state and as she is off the main line of traffic Tasmanian trades are rather in the nature of a diversion and hence more expensive."


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Copyright 1945 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (BA)--University of Tasmania, 1945

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