Spirit of Tasmania Ferries to Relocate to GeelongPort
Australia's TT-Line Company will move its Victorian port operations for Spirit of Tasmania from Station Pier, Port Melbourne, to Corio Quay, north of Geelong.
The new 12 hectare dedicated site will include a purpose designed passenger terminal building, a passenger vehicle marshaling 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 provided the company with a unique opportunity to enhance the passenger experience and provide room to expand its freight offering in line with demand for many years to come. “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. Passengers have cited boarding queues of up to two-and-a-half hours. “Further, it is our view that these issues will only worsen in the future.”
Grainger said Independent research of passengers identified three key elements that supported a move to Geelong – a location that was easy to get to, ease of check-in procedures and a lack of traffic getting to and from the terminal. “A new port base at Geelong is also expected to lead to increased passenger growth that would benefit the Tasmanian tourism industry from secondary markets of New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, as well as increased passenger growth from regional Victoria.”
The company will maintain its “last to leave, first to arrive” freight service. “The new Geelong facility will feature a dedicated freight terminal, streamlined and segregated passenger and freight entry and exit points, 150 truck parking bays and a 24/7 secure freight yard. The new freight yard will enable cargo pick up and drop off at any time, day or night, with access to heavy transport approved roads.
“This will alleviate the current freight constraints of Station Pier which requires freight to be collected immediately on discharge. The new facility will be located 40 minutes from 80 percent of our Victorian -based freight customers and 55 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.”
GeelongPort CEO Brett Winter said the move is a huge coup for the Geelong region. Each year over 450,000 passengers and 105,000 TEUs units of freight sail with Spirit of Tasmania, he said. The project is expected to generate up to 75 construction jobs over the two year build program, whilst increasing tourism expenditure in the greater Geelong region by up to $174.1 million by 2029.