News, media releases

Tasmanian workers and businesses must get opportunities from new Spirits

  • Liberals must answer why all or part of ships will not be constructed in Australia
  • Investment in tourism and freight capacity welcomed
  • What assurances have Rockliff, Hodgman sought on local workers getting a look in?

Tasmanian workers and companies must secure opportunities from the construction of two new Spirit of Tasmania vessels, following confirmation that the ships will be built overseas.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure David O’Byrne welcomed TT-Line’s investment to increase capacity to carry passengers and freight across Bass Strait.

Mr O’Byrne said he would seek a briefing from the Minister and TT-Line to find out key details of the deal to build new vessels – and raise questions about why the decision was made not to construct all or part of the ships in Australia.

“Investment in tourism and freight across Bass Strait is very welcome,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“Labor is proud that we bought the two Spirits that have served Tasmania so well, we are glad to see the Liberals following up a Labor initiative.

“But serious questions must be asked why the opportunity was missed for these ships to be built locally.

“With one opportunity already missed, the Liberals need to guarantee that local workers and contractors will have a significant role to play in the project.

“With the build to be done by an overseas company, what assurances have Will Hodgman and Jeremy Rockliff sought that local workers will get a look in?

“Or will the work be left to FIFO, interstate or overseas workers like during the most recent refit of the current Spirits?”