News, media releases

Spirits replacement proposal missing the mark

  • Creating jobs in the Philippines and WA, not Tasmania
  • Industry set to suffer due to replacement delays
  • Government needs to listen to TT-Line

The proposal by Western Australian company Austal to build the new Spirit of Tasmania replacement vessels in the Philippines won’t give the benefit to Tasmania the government has been promising.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Shane Broad said the proposal raises significant questions about whether any additional Tasmanian jobs will be created.

“The government talked about its desire to create more Tasmanian jobs when it cancelled the most recent contract to replace the Spirit vessels, but this proposal falls flat.

“Austal is proposing to use a shipyard in the Philippines that has never built vessels of the size and design we need, and completing the fitout in Western Australia using some Tasmanian companies and products.

“Using Tasmanian products during the fitout was part of previous contracts with the German and Finnish shipyards, so nothing has changed.

“Where are the new Tasmanian jobs the government is promising to deliver, and how much more is this going to cost taxpayers?

“We are seeing Tasmanian jobs at risk due to the constant delays with replacing the Spirit vessels, in industries like tourism, aquaculture and agriculture – ones that can’t afford to lose more jobs waiting until at least 2028 to see the vessels operating.

“Austal put a proposal forward to TT-Line previously, but it didn’t even make the shortlist.

“The government has a long history of missing the mark when it comes to infrastructure. It and its taskforce needs to listen to TT-Line if it is to create the jobs Tasmanians desperately need.”

Shane Broad
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure