New Bruny Island ferry service contract awarded
Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Infrastructure
A new ferry contract for Bruny Island will result in improved services including more crossings and the phasing in of an online booking system to avoid waits.
SeaLink Travel Group Limited (SeaLink) has been awarded the contract to operate ferry services for Bruny Island over the next 10 years.
The Hodgman Liberal Government understands the importance of the ferry service for Bruny Island residents as well as the growing number of visitors and holiday makers, carrying passengers, vehicles and freight.
As the popularity of Bruny Island has grown, so has the demands on the ferry and that’s why the Government’s focus has been to provide a service that will best meet the future demands of all users.
SeaLink will build two new ferries, worth more than $10 million, with the first to be delivered in the second half of next year, and the second due in the first half of 2021 after which the Government-owned MV Mirambeena will be withdrawn from service.
In the meantime, SeaLink will continue operating the MV Mirambeena, and from September it will redeploy its own vessel, the MV Moongalba from Queensland.
Moongalba will provide better weather protection for vehicles than the existing second vessel and will operate as required to support the service, until the first new vessel is built and operational.
SeaLink is a highly experienced and proven operator of vehicle and passenger ferries, including services to a number of island communities around Australia.
It will begin operating the service on Sunday, 23 September 2018 and for the duration of the new contract Bruny Island will have two vessels dedicated to the service.
Importantly, there will be no fare increase for Bruny Island residents when SeaLink starts operations in September, and residents’ fares will be maintained at or below annual CPI increases for the duration of the contract.
A new online booking system will gradually be introduced to provide travel certainty for all ferry users.
SeaLink will ensure that the use of the ferry is guaranteed for emergency services, school buses and regular service providers and that a stand-by system will be available for all travel not pre-booked.
From early July, SeaLink will be engaging directly with the Bruny Island community, including local businesses and community groups, to discuss the services it will be offering.
SeaLink will work with the Government to ensure a seamless transition from the current service to the new operation, and to offer employment opportunities for existing staff.
The Government extends its thanks to the Bruny Island Ferry Company and managing director Graeme Phillips, who has been at the helm of providing the service for more than 20 years.
More information about the new service will be soon be available at www.sealinkbrunyisland.com.au
28 June 2018