Today’s TT-Line hearings have uncovered further delays to the delivery of the new Spirit of Tasmania vessels, just days after Treasurer Michael Ferguson announced the new ships had fallen behind schedule.
After quietly announcing on Monday that the ships had been delayed until “mid-June”, TT-Line and the Treasurer have now been forced to admit the first of the new vessels will not actually be in service until August next year.
This is just the latest in a long line of delays since the Liberals promised Tasmanians they would “deliver two new, purpose-built Spirit of Tasmania vessels in 2021, two years ahead of schedule.”
A contract with a previous shipbuilder had to be torn up, and the Liberals then falsely tried to tell Tasmanians they would build the Spirits locally, which was never realistic. Further delays then led to the delivery date being pushed out to the first quarter of next year - too late for peak season.
All these delays and false promises are costing Tasmania’s economy dearly. Eminent Tasmanian economist Saul Eslake has calculated that every year of delay costs the economy $350 million.
At a time when the State’s economy has gone backwards for three quarters in a row, losing such significant economic opportunities are unforgivable.
After 10 years in Government, Tasmanians have grown used to endless cost blowouts and delays from the Liberals.
Rebeca White MP
Tasmanian Labor Leader
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure
Shadow Minister for Tourism