Bass Strait Shipping Vessels To Be Refurbished

Bass Strait Shipping Vessels To Be Refurbished

Tasmania Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding

Government Delivers On Pledge To Reduce TT-Line Fares, Grow Passengers

Victor P Taffa

The Hodgman Tasmania State Government has delivered on its election pledge to reduce fares and grow the number of tourists visiting the state on the TT-Line, Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding said.

“This week, cabinet approved the TT-Line’s business case, which will lower fares by an average 14.8 % over the next four years, and bring an extra 64,000 passengers and additional $220 Million in tourism spend to the state per year by 2023.”







The new business case unashamedly recommits TT-Line as a passenger-focused enterprise that will be a key driver in the Liberal Government’s plan to increase tourist numbers to 1.5 Million a year by 2020.

“The 14.8 % average fare reduction delivers on our election pledge to reduce average fares by “up to 20 %”, with a number of fares likely to be discounted well above the 20 % figure.” Mr. Hidding said.

“This will be achieved through a major refurbishment of both vessels, lower passenger fares and extra day sailings. An additional 42 extra day sailings will be scheduled each year by 2018 and will also mean a significant increase in space for caravans, boat-trailers and “grey nomad” tourists.”

“Freight capacity and carriage will remain unchanged for essential overnight perishables, while a private company has already announced it will be pursuing a new ship to increase overall freight capacity across Bass Strait.” Mr. Hidding said.

The refurbishment is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars and will be completed by mid to late 2015. This will be the first overhaul of the passenger ships since they entered service on Bass Strait more than 12 years ago.

The work will be undertaken in winter 2015 and will result in minimal disruption to services. One of the vessels will be refurbished while in scheduled dry-docking. The other will be refurbished while in service.

The refurbishment will bring the latest contemporary designs to all passenger decks and will include exciting new bars and eating areas, new seating arrangements on decks 7, 9 and 10, refurbished cabins, family and teen-friendly activities and food concepts, climate control and media streaming and Wi-Fi.

The Government remains committed to replacing the vessels by 2022-23 as per the commitment under the previous Government.

The refurbished Spirit of Tasmania vessels will act as a Brand Ambassador for Tasmania, showcasing Tasmanian produce and products.

TT-Line’s marketing will be more closely aligned with that of Tourism Tasmania adding extra bang for Tasmania’s promotional bucks.

“The Hodgman Tasmania State Government is very pleased that the Board of the TT-Line share this vision and I congratulate them on preparing a business case which will help deliver investment and jobs in Tasmania.” Mr. Hidding said.