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Liberals must commit to timeline on Spirits

  • Time for clarity on Spirits replacement
  • Three months and counting
  • Tasmania can’t wait until 2028

Three months after the Gutwein Government tore up the contract to build the new Spirit of Tasmania vessels, there’s still no clarity on the way forward for this hugely important infrastructure project.

Shadow Infrastructure Minister Shane Broad said the taskforce set up by the Gutwein Government has proved to be little more than a delaying tactic.

“When Peter Gutwerin tore up the contract he promised the taskforce would report back in three to six months,” Dr Broad said.

“The three month deadline has arrived and we have heard nothing about the taskforce’s work.

“Its terms of reference mean the taskforce is going over old ground and doubling up on work that’s already been modelled by TT-Line.

“This is costing the project dearly both in time and money and critical investment decisions in tourism and agriculture are being held up.

“TT-Line says it expects passenger demand to snap back strongly post-COVID and freight is already at capacity.

“There has never been a more important time to add more capacity to Bass Strait, but instead this Government has put off replacing the existing vessels until 2028.

“Jobs in tourism and sectors such as aquaculture, berries and cherries are being put at risk as a result of the Government’s broken promise to deliver new ships in 2021.

“Labor is calling for the Gutwein Government to state clearly when a decision will be made on the replacement of the Spirits.

“The tourism and freight sectors are crying out for some certainty on this but the Gutwein Government and Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson can offer up only chaos.”

Shane Broad MP
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure