Claims foreign shipping killing rail industry

<p>The Federal Government has been accused of using foreign shipping to kill off the Australian rail industry.</p> <p>Shadow transport minister Martin Ferguson’s claim follows an estimates hearing on cabotage.</p> <p>While explaining the Commonwealth’s coastal shipping policy, the Senate transport spokesman Senator Ian Macdonald said: "I do seriously point out to the committee that coastal voyages from Melbourne to Perth, to use a recent example, can get goods from Melbourne to Perth 30% cheaper than rail. </p> <p>"That is why we have these exemptions to our normal cabotage policy."</p> <p>Mr Ferguson said this proves the government is allowing foreign ships access to Australian coastal freight routes to undercut the local rail industry.</p> <p>He warned that the Coalition’s "antipathy" to the Australian shipping industry has been extended to rail and road transport will be next.</p> <br />