Under the Hodgman Liberal Government, TT-Line is carrying record passengers to the state as a result of our upgrades of the vessels, and introduction of additional sailings.
But the existing vessels won’t last forever, and we are Building Tasmania’s Future by ensuring we can pay for the Spirit replacement vessels through our Vessel Replacement Fund.
This year’s Budget will include an additional $100 million to be allocated into the fund, ensuring Tasmania is well placed to meet the future replacement cost of the Spirits as the money will be locked away and only able to be used for that purpose.
This additional cash injection will comprise $80 million from TT-Line, and $20 million from the Budget.
Our strong financial position allows us to ensure the money will be available when the time comes for the ship replacements in the early 2020s, with the total amount in the Fund now projected to be $180 million by the end of the forward estimates.
The Fund has now been legislated by the Parliament and will ensure no future Labor Governments can raid the money for their own irresponsible spending promises, just like they did with the Superannuation Provision Account.
It’s great news for everyone in Tasmania that profits from the numerous benefits the Spirits bring to the state, which is why we have reinvested in the Spirits and seen TT-Line go from strength to strength since we came to power.
TT-Line has seen passenger numbers increase by nearly 30 per cent and is on track to exceed 400,000 bookings for the second year in a row- a phenomenal achievement that underlines how important the Vessel Replacement Fund is for Tasmania’s future.
The ship replacement process remains on track with an announcement about the next steps in the process expected later this year.