Spirit Success – Passengers and Freight Up, Fares Down

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure

17 August 2017

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s plan to deliver more passengers and lower fares on the Spirit of Tasmania ferries has been an unequivocal success.

New figures show the Spirits carried 433,925 passengers in the last financial year, a massive 31 per cent increase on the 330,698 carried four years earlier under the former Labor-Green government.

According to TT-Line, we have also seen under this Government a reduction in average fare prices of about 15 per cent in real terms.

Our award-winning refurbishment of the ferries has – in spite of the constant negativity of the Opposition – helped to deliver these results by providing for a more enjoyable passenger experience.

That’s made the increased day sailings a more attractive option for many travellers.

Our own expectations have been exceeded, and we have seen new records set under our plan.

In January this year, the two Spirits carried a monthly record of passengers – higher than when three ships operated under that costly and ill-fated policy of the former Bacon government.

Freight volumes have grown too, with 103,423 TEUs carried over the past year for the benefit of our exporters and primary producers who favour the Spirits for their"last to leave, first to arrive" service.

The success of our plan is not only delivering great benefits to Tasmania, it also means TT-Line has been able to clear its debt and generate savings for the replacement of the Spirits.

A total of $100 million in dividends and general Government contributions has been prudently locked away for the purchase of the next generation of Bass Strait ferries.

The Liberal Government commends all at TT-Line for the positive way they have executed our plan and we know they are looking forward to an even brighter future.