Devonport City Council Mayor, Annette Rockliff has queried the Governments direction on replacement of the Spirit of Tasmania ferries saying there are many unanswered questions as a result of this surprise decision.
A lack of certainty in regard to timeframes and the size and capacity of the replacement vessels could impact confidence in the region, Mayor Rockliff said.
“I’m concerned the Government decision to delay the process could potentially impact business and investment growth in the North West region. The Spirits are an essential part of the economy in this part of the State and the anticipation was growing in regard to the new larger vessels previously due in 2022. Going back to the drawing board now will obviously delay delivery of the new ships and it is imperative that we understand the new timeframes and that an order is placed asap.”
“It is also important that assurances are provided that the size, capacity and specification won’t be compromised due to this change in direction.”
“Whilst creating Australian jobs should always be a priority, the only existing ship building capacity for this type of vessel is in South Australia and the extra jobs created need to be weighed up against the loss of new local jobs which would have resulted from the earlier arrival of the new Spirits.”
“We look forward to further announcements from the Government that will clarify these outstanding matters.”
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