The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Services sector.
Two new state-of-the-art ferries will help ease bottlenecks on the increasingly popular Bruny Island crossing. At a total cost of $10 million, the first of the twin-ferries is due to be delivered in late 2019, with the second in 2021. They will be built by national transport company, SeaLink, which is due to take over the Bruny Island run this September. The crossing is currently serviced by just one ferry – the government-owned MV Mirambeena – and lengthy delays during peak periods are on the increase. Infrastructure Minister, Jeremy Rockliff said: “As the popularity of Bruny Island has grown, so has the demand 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.” The new ferries will be able to transport 36 cars, plus pedestrians, and although this is half the load capability of the MV Mirambeena, extra sailings will result in significantly increased daily capacity. After taking over the Bruny run in September, Sealink will continue to operate the MV Mirambeena, together with one of its own vessels. These will be phased out as the two new ferries come on-line.
3 July 2018, Edition 196
A north-west tourism icon is getting an overhaul. The Nut at Stanley is one of Tasmania’s most recognisable landmarks, but facilities at the reserve are overdue for a face-lift. The State Government has recently unveiled plans to spend $600,000 over the next two years re-developing the Stanley Nut Reserve. Upgrades will include improved parking and amenities, with $450,000 earmarked to fund a new penguin viewing platform. This will not only help protect vital penguin nesting habitats but will also showcase stunning views of the nearby coastline. Braddon Liberal MHA, Adam Brooks, told The Advocate: “These key upgrades were identified during consultation with the local community…The investment in The Nut Reserve, along with $250,000 of planned improvements to the iconic Highfield House, cements Stanley as a must visit destination in Tasmania’s north-west.” Public feedback about the planned upgrades are invited, with submissions closing on July 30.
3 July 2018, Edition 196
There will be a big boost for boating in Tasmania’s beautiful D’Entrecasteaux Channel with work commencing on the Margate Marina. When completed the marina will add 300 berths to the popular cruising region. Work has already commenced on the in-water construction phase at the marina, located at Barretta south of Hobart, with berthing facilities for 50 vessels – from 10m to 25m – expected to be ready for use from September. Marina facilities being developed on-site includes café, chandlery, and new amenities building, together with power, water and CCTV monitoring. The marina already has a hardstand area, slipway, and boat ramp in place. There is also gated security. The D’Entrecasteaux Channel is the body of water located between Bruny Island and mainland Tasmania. With its sheltered bays, stunning scenery and abundant fish and wildlife, it is one of Australia’s premier cruising destinations.
3 July 2018, Edition 196
Launceston Airport has celebrated its 20th anniversary – of privatisation – and during that time it has gone from strength to strength. It now welcomes 1.3 million passengers every year, which is approximately one third of all passengers in and out of Tasmania. This is a sharp rise on the 544,000 people who went through its doors when the lease was acquired by Australia Pacific Airports Corporation in 1998. Airport General Manager, Paul Hodgen, said: “Privatisation has opened up a wide range of opportunities for Launceston enabling the growth and expansion required to bring the airport in line with the needs of the state.” Major milestones include: $21 million spent on the terminal redevelopment in 2009 and $11 million invested in runway surface improvements in 2015. Launceston airport is now one of the main economic and employment hubs in northern Tasmania. It supports more than 400 jobs and has some 30 businesses operating within its precinct.
12 June 2018, Edition 195
Plans for a 450-bed apartment complex in Hobart’s CBD have been unveiled by The University of Tasmania (UTAS), a welcome boost to the housing shortage. The project will cost $50 million and UTAS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rufus Black, said it was part of the university’s on-going commitment to provide infrastructure supporting student needs: “Our offering to students – both domestic and international – is of the highest standard. This project will ensure we maintain those standards as our growth in numbers continues.” These apartments will take some of the sting out of Hobart’s housing shortage, with Professor Black saying they will also re-house 200 students currently living in overcrowded and unsuitable housing. “Hobart’s growing pains are the result of positive things: more people wanting to come here to live, study and visit,” Professor Black said. “We think with the right ideas and approaches these challenges will be overcome.” The project was launched by Premier Will Hodgman who said: “Our state is facing increased demand for affordable housing options, including for the many people who are choosing to further their studies here.” The Premier added the announcement is also good news for students in the north and north-west who are considering university in Hobart and need somewhere to live. The apartments are expected to be completed within two years.
11 April 2018, Edition 193
Another woman has been added to the ranks of Tasmanian CEOs, with the announcement that Marnie Craig will be taking over the reins at Business Events Tasmania (BET). The BET Board said Ms Craig was well placed to continue to, “drive Tasmania’s share of business events and the related economic and social benefits for the state.” She is currently National Marketing and Communications Project Manager at the Housing Industry Association (HIA), a role Ms Craig has been undertaking from Tasmania since moving here in 2013. The BET Board praised Ms Craig for her, “strong sales background, relationship management, customer and member relations and commercial acumen”. Ms Craig lives in Hobart with her husband and two children and will commence in her new role in early May. She replaces outgoing CEO Stuart Nettlefold who has led the organisation for the past eight years. The Board said: “Stuart’s work to promote the broader benefits of national and international business events to Tasmania’s key industry sectors, as well as the creation of BET’s Tasmanian Ambassador Program will see the State well into the future. The BET Board wishes him success in his future endeavours.”
11 April 2018, Edition 193
TT-Line has signed an agreement with German shipbuilder, Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, for the construction of two new Spirit of Tasmania ferries, worth about $460 million each. The ferries will be crossing Bass Strait by 2021 and will be customised “floating hotels”, according to TT-Line's Chief Executive, Bernard Dwyer. "Technology will be cutting-edge and the look and feel and colour will be inspired by Tasmanian experiences, from timber panelling, to imagery, to art and sculptures," Mr Dwyer told The Mercury. "The entire seventh level of the new ships — from stern to bow — will be all public space, which will be up almost 50 per cent on the current Spirits. There’ll be lounges, bars, dining areas and movie theatres. You might walk into a Tasmanian whisky bar, or a bar serving Tasmanian gins. Up forward, level seven will have panoramic views out over the bow to Bass Strait, something that is blocked out these days ... There will be more retail outlets and shop fronts for Tasmanian tourist operators, entertainment areas for families, quiet nooks for reading and relaxing, and maybe even fitness areas." While internal specifications for layout and design have not been finalised, TT-Line's vision is to offer increased comfort and enjoyment to passengers, Mr Dwyer said. The ships will take 2,000 passengers (up 40 per cent) and 70 per cent more cars.
8 February 2018, Edition 191
TT-Line is set to order two new, bigger and cleaner ships to boost capacity and heighten customer appeal on its Bass Strait service.
4 December 2017, Edition 190
TT-Line posted a record after-tax profit of $25.1 million for the year ended 30 June 2017, according to the company’s annual report tabled in State Parliament in October. Company Chairman Michael Grainger (also Chairman of the Brand Tasmania Council) said TT-Line improved its performance compared to last year in virtually every metric. “In addition to achieving record after-tax profit, through the refurbishment of the Spirit of Tasmania vessels, increased sailings and lower average passenger fares, the company achieved record total revenue of $231.8 million,” he said.
The number of sailings increased by 3 per cent to 838. Day sailings totalled 144 – the most since 2004. Passenger numbers increased by 4 per cent to 433,925, also the highest figure reported since 2004. Freight volumes were the highest on record: 103,430 20-foot equivalent units compared to 100,626 last year. TT-Line is working with the Tasmanian Government on vessel replacement. The valuation of its two vessels did not change compared to the previous year – they were valued at 65 million euros each as at 30 June 2017.
Mr Grainger said 2016–17 was the first year of a new five-year deal (2017 to 2021) with North Melbourne to play AFL games in Hobart. “Spirit of Tasmania’s relationship with North Melbourne (since 2012) has delivered significant brand recognition in our key markets interstate through Channel 7 and Foxtel, and flow-on benefits to the State, particularly in hotel and restaurant businesses,” he said.
6 November 2017, Edition 189
Hellyers Road Distillery, the southern hemisphere’s largest single malt whisky producer, is the 2017 Tasmanian Exporter of the Year. In the past six years the Burnie-based business has established a growing distribution footprint in Europe, especially France, Japan, China, Argentina and Vanuatu. Other State winners included:
- DFAT Agribusiness Award: McKay Timber
- AusIndustry Business Services Award: ISW
- Austrade Digital Technologies Award: Echoview Software
- TasPorts Regional Exporter Award: Premium Fresh Tasmania
- Austrade Education and Training Award: Australian Honey Products
The Tasmanian winners will compete for Australian Export Awards in Canberra on 5 December.
6 November 2017, Edition 189