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New ship for King Island likely by the end of this year

Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure

Today I was pleased to advise the Legislative Council inquiry into King Island shipping that the current temporary vessel, the Investigator, is likely to be replaced by a substantially larger, and more fit for purpose, vessel by the end of this year.

TasPorts’ worldwide search for a vessel has resulted in two ships of interest to operate as the next interim vessel, with commercial negotiations and practical considerations current and live.

Concurrently, the Government will be provided with professional advice in the next month or two as to what an ideal new-build vessel for King Island would look like. This report will provide the basis for an in-depth consultation with the King Island Council and its community, key customers and shippers, and in fact all stakeholders on the final “ideal design” for the next 20 year solution for the Island. Considerations of design, cost of construction, financing options, and who should be the operator of the shipping service, will all be questions for resolution with the King Island community.

During that period of substantial consultation, TasPorts’ much larger next interim vessel will handle the shipping task very well.