November 26 - Australia's senate has rejected proposed changes to coastal shipping laws that would have allowed foreign-flagged vessels more access to the country's ports.

The motion would have seen the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 renamed to the Coastal Shipping Act 2015; and the existing three-tiered licensing system replaced with a single permit system, available to Australian and foreign vessels, which will provide access to the Australian coast for a period of 12 months.

Those that voted for the legislation believed that the amendments would open up the coastal shipping market and get freight off the nation's roads.

Although many were discouraged by the news, a number of maritime unions and associations were satisfied with the senate's rejection of the proposal.

Shipping Australia - the country's national shipping association - said that it was encouraged by the government's "cautious approach" to making changes to shipping competition regulation.

The Maritime Union Australia (MUA) also said "common sense has prevailed with the senate" after it voted down the Turnbull government's deregulation plans for Australian shipping.

Meanwhile, DP World's plan to develop a container terminal in Tanzania has been thrown into doubt since the project was dependent on the bill passing, to allow international shipping lines to carry domestic freight between Australia's ports.


An AAL vessel at the Australian Port of Dampier.