admitted in 2018 no Australian shipyards could build new Spirits
commitment to Tasmanian jobs
Minister Michael Ferguson has been left red faced by his government’s own
admission that no Australian ship yards could build the new Spirit of Tasmania
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Shane Broad said it was concerning that the
Minister could not state how many Tasmanian jobs would be created as a result
of the decision to delay the Spirit of Tasmania replacement until 2028.
In fact, the Liberal Government’s own promotional material from 2018 suggests Tasmanian jobs will be put at risk as a result of constrained growth in the tourism and high-value agriculture and aquaculture industries.
“It was bad
enough that the Liberals broke their promise to have two new vessels operating
on Bass Strait by 2021 but now Michael Ferguson can’t even answer basic
questions about his plans,” Dr Broad said.
“At a time
when the tourism industry and freight companies need certainty, Michael
Ferguson failed to explain what Australian ship builder has the capacity to
build the new ships or how many Tasmanian jobs would be created if they do go
government doesn’t have this information, it must explain why it ignored the expert
advice of the TT-Line Board and sacrificed jobs that could have been created by
expediting the vessels’ construction.
concerning, Mr Ferguson refused to even commit to the two new monohull ships
promised by the government before the last election
this commitment, we can’t even be sure that the existing Spirits will be
replaced with an adequate service, even though modelling has previously shown
the growth expected in freight and tourism is reliant on new ships with
“This government needs to stop hiding behind COVID-19 and spell out its plans to give tourism and freight companies the certainty they need and deserve, and to get on with creating jobs for Tasmanians.”
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure