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Labor’s Sea Highway Plan will invest to get Tasmania moving again

  • Investment will significantly expand capacity of Tasmania’s northern ports
  • Labor will fast track delivery of two new Bass Strait ferries
  • Sea Highway will get major export businesses moving

A Labor Government will invest $150 million into northern Tasmania’s network of ports and other key infrastructure to get Tasmania’s crucial export businesses moving again.

The plan is a key initiative in Labor’s fully costed jobs plan, Working for Tasmania.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said a lack of investment in the state’s ports was constraining Tasmania’s export industries and putting a handbrake on growth.

“The Liberal government talks big on investment in infrastructure but ultimately, as all Tasmanians understand, fails big on delivery,” Ms White said.

“The government will not deliver on its fantasy $5 billion infrastructure plan because it has a woeful track record in building infrastructure.

“As an island state, Tasmania’s ‘Sea Highway’ is the most important highway we have. It supports our major export businesses in mining, forestry and agriculture, and brings high-value drive tourists to Tasmania.

“Our island status has been central to keeping us safe from COVID-19 and should also be the centrepiece of our economic recovery.” 

Labor’s Sea Highway Plan will invest $150 million into our ports and drive down costs for exporters.

It will also fast track delivery of the Spirit of Tasmania replacement ships. 

The plan includes:

  • Fast tracking the $850 million purchase of two new Bass Strait ferries
  • Contributing $80 million to upgrade the Burnie Port to accommodate larger vessels, improve bulk storage capacity and further improve ship loading efficiency, all of which will drive down costs for exporters
  • Contributing $60 million at the Port of Devonport to accommodate the new Spirit of Tasmania vessels, expand berthing facilities for transport and logistics providers, and create future opportunities for commercial fishing and the potential development of a marina and facilities for public events
  • Contributing $10 million at Bell Bay Port to create multiple berths for forestry and mining exports, increase the port’s fuel storage capacity, replace old fuel pipelines and establish a new transport and wash-down system for forestry exports

Shadow Infrastructure Minister Shane Broad said it was critical to invest in Tasmania’s Sea Highway in the post-COVID recovery.

“The Liberal government has not funded any of these initiatives in its budget.

“Only Labor is committing state government funding to these projects, and additional investment will be made by TasPorts, which has the potential to unlock even greater opportunity.

“And there has never been a more important time to add more capacity to Bass Strait.

“New ships with greater capacity will support the growth of businesses in the tourism sector and trigger growth and jobs in the forestry, mining and agriculture sectors.”

Rebecca White MP
Labor Leader

Shane Broad MP
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure