Spirit of Tasmania finds a new home in Geelong creating tourism jobs

Posted: 25th Apr

The Spirit of Tasmania is relocating its Victorian port operations from Port Melbourne to Geelong.

The ferry service's operator TT-Line Company Pty Ltd announced the move to a new 12 hectare site at Corio Quay on Thursday, which will include a purpose designed passenger terminal building, a passenger vehicle marshalling area for 600 cars, more efficient passenger vehicle check in, security facilities, public amenities, a cafe, children’s play area and a pet exercise area.

TT-Line Chairman Michael Grainger said the move to Geelong provides the company with a unique opportunity to improve the passenger experience and provide room to expand its freight offering.

“The company’s operations are often negatively impacted by significant congestion in the greater Port Melbourne area, particularly when cruise ships are in port, that causes delays in loading and discharge of passengers,” he said.

“Passenger feedback on this part of our operations has been critical, with passengers citing boarding queues of up to two-and-a-half-hours, which in turn impacts the sailing schedule."

It comes after independent passenger research identified three key elements in support of the move – a location that was easy to get to, ease of check-in procedures and a lack of traffic getting to and from the terminal.

The company says it will continue its “last to leave, first to arrive” freight service.

GeelongPort CEO Brett Winter is welcoming the deal and said that the deal 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 Geelong Port is a huge coup for the Geelong region. Each year over 450,000 passengers and 105,000 twenty–foot equivalent units of freightsail with Spirit of Tasmania” he 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, while increasing tourism expenditure in the greater Geelong region by up to $174.1 million by 2029.

The Tasmanian Government first floated the idea of having the service dock at Geelong back in March.

Source: Bay 93.9 - https://www.bay939.com.au/news/local-news/117040-spirit-of-tasmania-finds-a-new-home-in-geelong