The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Services sector.
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
The Tasmanian Government has secured a new ship to run a triangular freight service between King Island, the Tasmanian mainland and Victoria. The vessel, being built in Malaysia, will have double the capacity of the existing freighter, The Investigator, and will meet all the island’s present freight and livestock demands, while having reserve capacity for future growth. The service will eliminate the present unloading and re-loading conducted in Devonport for freight from the island to Victoria. The new ship will be run by a subsidiary of Tasports, Bass Island Lines, which operates The Investigator. The Government said the operator would consult with customers on the island and with other key stakeholders including Tasmanian-based meat processors about port schedules and logistics.
6 November 2017, Edition 189
Business Events Tasmania (BET) has appointed four additional people to its Ambassador’s Program to help secure more national and international conferences. They are:
· Karen Rees, the Tasmanian Polar Network;
· Irene Penesis, the Australian Maritime College;
· Gretta Pecl, the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies; and
· David Armstrong, AK Consultants (agricultural and natural resource consultant).
There are now 12 ambassadors who bring their own personal expertise and their own network groups to BET’s activities. The organisation generated 233 bids last year and scored 97 wins with an estimated future contribution to the State economy of $44 million.
4 July 2017, Edition 185
A bill to establish a special fund for the future replacement costs of the Spirits of Tasmania passed through Parliament in April without amendment. The Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, said he was pleased to see the TT-Line’s Vessel Replacement Fund Bill through the Legislative Council. The resultant fund would ensure that the State would be well placed to meet the future replacement costs of the two vessels. “The money will be locked away and only able to be used for that purpose,” Mr Gutwein said. “It will also allow further contributions to be deposited as the State Budget allows.” In 2016, the number of people travelling to Tasmania by sea rose by 11 per cent. The reintroduction of a Sydney to Devonport passenger ship has been raised in the media by out-going tourism industry spokesperson Ian Waller.
1 May 2017, Edition 183
Tasmania’s difficulties in securing Australian Defence contracts continued in August when its Sentinel II Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle was ruled out of the tender process for a new $2.7 billion contract to design and manufacture a state-of-the-art armoured vehicle. Significant investment had gone into the production of three prototypes in the bid for the Australian Defence Force’s Land 400 program by Team Sentinel, a consortium made up of global manufacturing companies including Tasmania’s Elphinstone Group and CBG Systems. The first Sentinel II vehicle was assembled by Team Sentinel partner ST Kinetics in Singapore and arrived in Tasmania in June on board a Russian air freighter. The Defence Force ruled in early August that the prototype did not meet all its criteria.
30 August 2016, Edition 175