Tasmanian exporters urge Lambie to back Burnie freight terminal

Tasmanian business leaders will meet with crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie to convey their support for a proposed new international container freight terminal at Burnie.

The Advocate reports that the group of exporters including Elphinstone and Tasmanian Mountain Waters will meet Lambie on March 8.

Kelly Elphinstone, managing director of Elphinstone, said the new terminal would help develop export opportunities and lead to cheaper exports.

"This development will only stimulate employment and economic prosperity, particularly as we continue to demonstrate the competitiveness of advanced manufacturing in Australia and signal to the world that Tasmania is open for business," she told The Advocate.

Lambie was among senators who voted against shipping reforms last November, which would’ve given freer access to Australian ports by foreign vessels. She said that this would lead to job losses, and disputed that law changes had anything to do with the port going ahead.

"If it was such a great proposal they should have come and seen me, that would be the first thing, she said at the time.

"If DP World really wanted to come in, they'd come in. It's a political stunt."

The proposed shipping reforms are likely to return to parliament this year.

In the meantime, DP Wortd says it is going ahead with engineering design work for the port, a development estimated to cost between $20 million – $30 million.