The Spirit of Tasmania vessels will now head to Geelong, following an agreement with TT-Line Company and GeelongPort about the relocation of the Victorian port home.
The Spirit of Tasmania vessels, previously docked at Station Pier, Port Melbourne and will now port at Corio Quay, north of Geelong.
GeelongPort CEO, Brett Winter, said that the deal with TT-Line will create major economic, employment and tourism opportunities for Geelong, the Bellarine and the wider G21 region.
“Bringing the iconic Spirit of Tasmania vessels to GeelongPort is a huge coup for the Geelong region. Each year over 450,000 passengers and 105,000 twenty–foot equivalent units of freight sail with Spirit of Tasmania,” Mr Winter said.
“Now more than ever, opportunities to inject new jobs and economic growth into the greater Geelong region are crucial.
“Working with our key stakeholders, we need to streamline our planning approvals so that this important project will be ready for 2022”.
The project is expected to generate up to 75 construction jobs over the two year build program, whilst increasing tourism expenditure in the greater Geelong region by up to $174.1 million by 2029. In addition, there will be a number of new opportunities for regional hospitality, agribusiness, and logistics services.
The proposed solution at GeelongPort’s Corio Quay, located in Geelong’s north, would provide a dedicated, large scale passenger and freight terminal that would transform Spirit of Tasmania’s customer experience.
With access to the Princes Highway and Freeway, Corio Quay is near two rail stations, 15 minutes from Avalon Airport and a mere 50 minutes from the Great Ocean Road.
The new 12-hectare dedicated site will include a purpose-built passenger terminal building, a passenger vehicle marshalling area for 600 cars, more efficient passenger vehicle check in, security facilities, public amenities, crew accommodation, a cafe, children’s play area and a pet exercise area.
The size of the new site will also increase freight capacity to get more Tasmanian goods to interstate markets, with the current freight holding yard at Station Pier’s smaller size causing major traffic and logistics problems, and putting pressure on primary producers’ ability to meet projected market growth demand.
The new port also provides an excellent financial outcome for TT-Line and its customers, where TT-Line would otherwise have seen significant cost increases at Station Pier, which would have been passed onto freight customers and passengers, without the fit-for-purpose and future proof facility that the new port offers.
Mr Winter said, “Whether it be passengers or freight, GeelongPort have designed a solution to optimize the overall port experience, whilst providing unprecedented flexibility and value to Spirit of Tasmania and their customers.”
“Working with TT-Line, the Victorian Government and the City of Greater Geelong Council, we’ll develop a plan to ensure there’s appropriate infrastructure to support the increase in traffic and minimise any potential disruption to our customers and the local community during both construction and operational phases”.
GeelongPort has been an integral part of Geelong’s economic and social fabric for more than 150 years, helping to transform the city and region into the economic, tourism and community hub it is today.