Michael Ferguson,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
The MV Mirambeena will officially retire from the Bruny Island ferry service on 25 May 2021 after 30 years of ferrying both locals and visitors between Kettering and Roberts Point.
Built in Launceston in 1991, the Mirambeena will depart Bruny for the final time at 8:00am on Tuesday.
The Mirambeena has now outlived its designed safe service life of 30 years and has now been replaced by the two new, faster, more reliable Tasmanian-built vessels, the Parrabah and the Nairana, which are now serving the route.
The combined use of the new vessels will provide passengers with a much more reliable, efficient and comfortable service, and landside infrastructure upgrade works which are well underway and will maximise their operation.
Combined, the two new vessels are capable of faster turnaround times and an overall greater crossing capacity. A 20-minute rotational timetable allows the two new vessels to carry up to 90 – 108 vehicles an hour, compared to 82 vehicles an hour utilising the Mirambeena and the Moongalba on half hourly services. Capacity will also increase when the vessels run on shuttle during times of high demand.
Over its service life the Mirambeena has made an estimated 230,000 crossings between Kettering and the island and carried more than 6 million vehicles.
I know that for many locals and shackies, the “Mirra” has been a part of island life, helping to move generations of Bruny families to and from the island. So it is sad to see her retire.
Continued use of the Mirambeena to provide a public passenger ferry service is not viable given the age and condition of the vessel and the stringent ongoing requirements to meet contemporary vessel regulatory standards.
The Tasmanian Government has spent more than $1 million to keep the Mirambeena operating safely since 2019 as the costs of maintaining and sourcing parts for an aging vessel have grown.
To be clear, the MV Bowen remains available for back-up for the new vessels if required as it better meets the current operational, turn-around and scheduling requirements of the service.
The Mirambeena will be berthed at Prince of Wales Bay while the Department of State Growth plans disposal options for the decommissioned vessel.