Melbourne’s loss is Geelong’s gain with confirmation today the Spirit of Tasmania will be calling GeelongPort home from 2022.
The confirmation comes a month after Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein accused the Andrews Labor Government of price gouging berthing fees at Station Pier.
In early March Mr Gutwein told the Tasmanian Parliament - “It’s quite obvious that they want to price gouge … they want to take every last cent,” he continued “No final decision has been made, but we are very concerned about the price increases that have been proposed in terms of the Spirit of Tasmania.”
His comments came after a report revealed Station Pier is in a shocking state of repair – finding timber piles holding the pier up are dotted with cracks, cavities and some are missing completely.
There are now Questions Minister for Ports Melissa Horne needs to answer - Is the Andrews Labor Government increasing berthing fees to raise the cash to repair Station Pier?
Without the Spirit of Tasmania paying berthing fees and with the cruise industry in deep uncertainty following the Coronavirus – will station pier be left to rot like the neighbouring Princes Pier?
Comments attributable to Roma Britnell, Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight:
“The relocation of the Spirit of Tasmania will be an economic boom for Geelong and give visitors easier access to the Great Ocean Road and other key destinations.
“But the Andrews Labor Government needs to come clean on why the Tasmanian Government, which owns the Spirit of Tasmania, has had to make this decision.
“They also need to come clean on what will happen with Station Pier now it’s key tenant is moving on and how they plan to pay for the repairs the historic Pier needs.”