Wednesday 16 April 2003


Mr FINCH (Question) - Mr President, a question without notice to the honourable Leader. As a result of the popularity of the two ships across Bass Strait and the new marketing opportunities, has any thought been given to special trips, maybe off-season, perhaps between Sydney and Hobart?

Mr AIRD - I thank the honourable member for his question. This issue of running special voyages between Sydney and a port in Tasmania, be it Devonport or Hobart, arises periodically. I do not know if there has been any formal consideration at the board level of the TT-Line. But I will make inquiries and I will let the honourable member know what plans are afoot, if any.

Mr Squibb - The cost is prohibitive.

Mr AIRD - That has been the evidence so far. You do not know, the markets change, habits change, international pressures in terms of tourists, SARS -

Mr Finch - There's more interest in Tasmania now.

Mr AIRD - the level of awareness of how attractive Tasmania is as a destination. There may be new evidence which would affect the cost factor -
Mr Fletcher - If fuel was a factor, they should be steaming out of Stanley.

Mr AIRD - If they could fit under the Bridgewater bridge, I would suggest New Norfolk.

Mr Squibb - What are you doing about that bridge, by the way?

Mr AIRD - We are fixing it - literally.

Mr Squibb - I've got an interest in that.

Mr AIRD - In all seriousness, honourable member, I will find out if the board have considered any special voyages and I will let the honourable member know.