Infrastructure Minister Jeremy Rockliff has serious questions to answer on his misleading of Tasmanians over the replacement Spirits.
Labor has consistently raised genuine concerns over the delivery of the new Spirits, including at Budget Estimates in 2018, in February, and during the Budget and Estimates this year but we were accused of scaremongering and our concerns were dismissed by the Government.
During Estimates Labor revealed more problems at the shipyards, with senior staff leaving FSG and money not in the Budget – deferred until 2022-23.
Peter Gutwein admitted there were challenges, but Jeremy Rockliff said everything was running on time.
Three days after Budget Estimates Peter Gutwein admitted TT-Line staff had flown to Europe for a crisis meeting about the shipyard and now we are being told TT-line are looking at other shipyards.
Shadow Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne said Mr Rockliff needs to admit when he first knew the ferries would not be delivered, and when the Liberals decided to work on a plan B.
“It is clear that Jeremy Rockliff lied to the Estimates Committee and the Parliament about the chaotic state of the replacement vessel project,” Shadow Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne said.
“Today’s admission from Mr Rockliff means whether it is at FSG or another shipyard, the ships will not be delivered anywhere near on time.
“If it is at another shipyard, which Mr Rockliff has flagged, it will mean very significant delays.
“Mr Rockliff is being dishonest to say no money has been spent rescuing the Spirits when we know significant conversations which have cost money have occurred. If a new shipbuilder is chosen, this is money down the drain.
“Jeremy Rockliff needs to be clear about when he knew about problems at FSG shipyard, as he risks having misled parliament – and the Tasmanian people – with his previous comments.
“This is just the latest example of the Hodgman Government’s failure to deliver major infrastructure projects.
“Whatever the opposite of the Midas touch is – the Liberals have it.”
David O’Byrne MP
Shadow Infrastructure Minister