Peter Gutwein should be ashamed of himself for wasting $146,000 of taxpayers’ money in the embarrassing fiasco to replace the Spirit of Tasmania vessels.
Shadow Infrastructure Minister Shane Broad said the Premier’s humiliating backflip has angered local shipbuilders and created uncertainty and anxiety in the tourism and freight sector.
“After a delay of almost a year, Peter Gutwein today revealed in Parliament that he spent $146,000 of taxpayers’ money on a report he completely ignored when he backflipped right back to square one – announcing the ships will be built in Finland after all,” Dr Broad said.
“Peter Gutwein has turned the replacement of the Spirit of Tasmania vessels into an absolute farce.
“The Premier has managed to bitterly disappoint local ship builders and delayed the delivery of additional capacity on Bass Strait by at least two years – which will ultimately cost the state jobs.
“We know from Saul Eslake’s report that each year of delay means at least $350 million in tourism dollars will not be spent in Tasmania, 6,000 new jobs will not be created and freight customers will continue to miss sailings because the ships are full.
“This ridiculous episode has seriously called into question the Premier’s judgement, and his government’s ability to deliver major infrastructure projects. “Given the government’s sorry record of incompetence, how can Tasmanians have any confidence that the Spirits of Tasmania will be delivered by the new deadline of 2023-24?”
Shane Broad MP
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure