Michael Ferguson,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Tasmanian company SeaRoad’s commitment to build a €100 million freight vessel for the Bass Strait route is a huge vote of confidence in our State’s economic future.
I congratulate SeaRoad Executive Chairman, Chas Kelly, and the SeaRoad team for their extraordinary commitment to increasing capacity for our growing sea trade and for the long-term investment in the Port of Devonport.
The significance of this investment decision cannot be understated. The new vessel will be larger and faster than the charter vessel MV Liekut – which in itself was a dramatic uplift in freight capacity for the business.
The SeaRoad investment decision is a demonstration that Tasmanian-based companies can compete in the national freight market and our State is a major beneficiary in terms of jobs and capital investment.
The boost to freight capacity will support Tasmania’s growing economy and population, with growing demand for efficient roll-on, roll-off delivery, which is predicted to continue to increase because of a stronger economy and population growth.
The SeaRoad investment highlights the strength of the business case for TasPorts’ East Devonport Port Master Plan, which will lift the capacity and efficiency of the port.
The $240 million project will provide a 40 per cent increase to overall capacity at the port, which will deliver an additional $36 million into the Tasmanian economy through increased trade.
It is anticipated this project will generate up to 1,700 jobs during the five-year construction phase, providing a massive stimulus for jobs and investment in Tasmania’s North West.