A Journey Marred by Delays, Cost Overruns, and Secrecy

A Journey Marred by Delays, Cost Overruns, and Secrecy

Delays, Cost Overruns, and Infrastructure Issues

The long-awaited arrival of the new Spirit of Tasmania vessels has been marred by significant delays, cost overruns, and infrastructure challenges. The original estimate for upgrading the port to accommodate the new ships was $90 million, but a new quote has come in at a staggering $375 million, more than four times the initial figure.

The new ships, originally promised for 2021, are now expected to arrive in 2024 and 2025, respectively. This delay has already cost the Tasmanian economy an estimated $350 million, and the final figure is likely to be much higher.

Adding to the project's woes, the operator of the Spirit of Tasmania ferry service, TT-Line, bailed out the Finnish shipbuilder RMC to the tune of $81 million just two days before the state election. This bailout raises questions about the project's financial management and transparency.

Further complicating matters, the new ships' berthing facilities at Devonport are not expected to be ready until January 2026. This means the government has had to ask TasPorts to upgrade berths 1 and 2 as temporary homes for the first new ship, adding further costs to the project.

The government has attributed the cost overruns to global increases in materials and construction costs. However, the opposition argues that the government should have provided more oversight and transparency throughout the project.

The Spirit of Tasmania's journey has been plagued by delays, cost blowouts, and secrecy. It remains to be seen whether the new ships will ultimately deliver the promised benefits to the Tasmanian economy.