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Delays for new Spirit of Tasmania ferries as project hit by $81.6 million cost blowout

Pulse Tasmania
The new Spirit of Tasmania. Image / Supplied

Tasmania will now fork out an extra $81.6 million for two new Spirit of Tasmania vessels on top of the original $850+ million price tag.

The first ship, which was last expected to arrive from European shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions in June, has been delayed until the third quarter of the year, while the second ship is expected in early 2025.

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In Parliament on Wednesday, Labor leader Dean Winter questioned Premier Jeremy Rockliff about the revised timeline, which aims to have the ships in service by August.

Winter reminded the Premier that the government had promised the vessels in 2021.

The Spirit of Tasmania IV on May 15. It is due to arrive in Australia later this year. Image / Supplied

“More than six years later … the new ships are nowhere to be seen,” Winter said.

Rockliff said the government was “committed” to having the vessels in service between Devonport and Geelong “as soon as possible”.

The new Spirit of Tasmania. Image / Supplied

He said the TT-Line board had approved the additional €50 million payment to address a cost blowout.

“I want to make it clear, it was a decision for the board, not the ministers,” he said.

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“I’m further advised the alternative was to potentially go back to market for a new ship that would have cost more and resulted in a significant additional delay.”

The delays have been linked to labour shortages, material price increases and the war in Ukraine.

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