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SeaLink Travel Group Appointed to Bruny Island Service

Thursday 28 June 2018

The Tasmanian Government today announced that SeaLink Travel Group Limited (SeaLink) has been appointed as the new operator of the Bruny Island Ferry Service. SeaLink has been awarded a contract to provide the ferry service for at least the next 10 years, commencing on Sunday 23 September 2018. The contract will include SeaLink building two new modern, efficient passenger and car ferries that will provide more frequency, additional capacity and reduce travel time for the Bruny Island community. 

SeaLink Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Ellison, said: “SeaLink is delighted to be expanding our operations into Tasmania and we are looking forward to becoming a key member of the Tasmanian tourism and business community”. 

Bruny Island residents will benefit from SeaLink’s commitment to improved services, the provision of new ferries, ongoing employment opportunities and strong consultation and community engagement. 

“SeaLink plans to work with the Tasmanian Government, local Council and industry to cater for sustainable growth for Bruny Island. We are committed to a long-term future in Tasmania, and we are focused on creating genuine benefit for the Bruny Island community,” said Mr Ellison. 

“The Tasmanian Government has led the way in tourism development in recent years. We are excited to be given this opportunity and we will not let them or the people of Tasmania down.” 

Community Consultation and Employment Opportunities 

SeaLink will now work with the Government of Tasmania and the current operator to ensure a seamless transition and to offer employment opportunities for existing staff. It will also engage directly with the Bruny Island community and local businesses prior to commencement to outline all changes and opportunities, in particular any changes to fare structures, schedules and the ticketing process. 

New Ferries

Under the new contract, SeaLink will:

  • Build two new ferries with an estimated value of over $10 million to be brought into the service to replace the Tasmanian Government-owned MV Mirambeena. The first of the new ferries will be delivered in the second half of 2019, with the second due in the first half of 2021.
  • Transfer its own vessel, the MV Moongalba, from Queensland to be deployed as the second dedicated vessel for the Bruny Island route. SeaLink will continue using the MV Mirambeena until both new ferries are built.
  • SeaLink is experienced in vessel builds, having built nine new vessels since 2013, including seven in Hobart.

Managing peak demand issues 

SeaLink was asked to deliver a strategy to better manage peak demand periods. This will be done with a gradual introduction of a booking system for the ferry service, improved customer experience at the ferry terminals, more agent sellers of ferry tickets and improved mobile and online communications. The booking system will be available for the approaching school holiday period and is expected to be active from mid-August 2018, six weeks prior to the start of the new service commencement. 

Residents who book the ferry will have cheaper fares during the implementation of the new booking system. A stand-by system will be available for all travel not pre-booked. Visitors will have cheaper fare options also through the introduction of a variable pricing model. The booking system will provide certainty to all ferry users and brings the service into line with modern practices employed around the world. Regular service providers, tourism business, school buses and emergency services use of the ferry is guaranteed. 

SeaLink will work with local residents and stakeholders prior to the introduction of its ticketing system to explain how it will work, the benefits of such a system and the various ways in which ferry users will be able to book tickets. The ticketing system will be phased in over the first year of the new operation. 

SeaLink looks forward to the opportunity to become a valued member of the Tasmanian and Bruny Island community, delivering an outstanding ferry service based on customer needs, convenience, safety, reliability, and comfort. 

For enquiries contact:
Jeff Ellison, Chief Executive & Managing Director, 0407 407 123
Ant Hayes, Chief Operating Officer, 0419 772 885
Paul Victory, General Manager 0408 157 154

#Announcement #Tasmania