1 July 2022
The new purpose-designed Spirit of Tasmania terminal at GeelongPort is “on track” to be completed ready the first sailings on 23 October.
GeelongPort CEO Brett Winter said the $135 million new passenger and freight terminal project north of Geelong was progressing well.
“The terminal building and civil works element of the project on Corio Quay Road are well progressed,” he said.
“The broader civil works at the site are also going well, while in the marine infrastructure part of the project, work on the three-level access ramp for cars, caravans and trucks to board simultaneously is well advanced.
“Work is also continuing on the interface to the general freight area.”
Mr Winter said during the construction peak there were about 230 people working on site.
“We expect the move to Geelong will create great opportunities for long-term employment in the north Geelong area,” he said.
“Local tourism operators are excited about what it means for them, and it will provide a critical freight link into Tasmania with a 24/7 secure freight yard that will enable cargo pick up and drop off at any time, day or night.”
The new 12 hectare site at Geelong will include a passenger terminal, a passenger vehicle marshalling area for 600 cars and caravans, more efficient passenger vehicle check in, security facilities, public amenities, food and beverage outlet and children’s play area.
The terminal will include state-of-the-art facilities for passengers and staff, providing a space to relax before or after their voyage.
The building’s design was inspired by Victorian and Tasmanian landscapes, most specifically the landscape of Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park.
Beyond the passenger terminal, the new facility will feature a dedicated freight terminal, streamlined and segregated passenger and freight entry and exit points and 150 truck parking bays.
Mr Winter said GeelongPort was excited about the first sailings of the current Spirit of Tasmania ships, and the arrival of the new purpose-built ships in 2024.
“We get to have two celebrations – the official opening and then the official welcome of the new vessels,” he said.
“Importantly, the facility has been built to cater for both.”
Spirit of Tasmania Chairman Mike Grainger said the Company was looking forward to ultimately moving to Geelong from Station Pier in Port Melbourne.
“We are very pleased to see first-hand the major works develop at our new Victorian home,” he said.
“I am personally looking forward to seeing the precinct continue to evolve in the lead up to welcoming our first passengers to Geelong later this year.”
Mr Grainger said the move provided Spirit of Tasmania with a unique opportunity to enhance the passenger experience and provide room to expand its freight business in line with demand for many years to come.
“When you consider this alongside the investment we are making in two new vessels, we are not only securing the future of the Company but Tasmania’s visitor economy and the broader economy,” he said.
“The new port is expected to lead to increased passenger growth from markets in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, as well as increased passenger growth from regional Victoria.”
Mr Grainger said the Company would maintain its “last to leave, first to arrive” freight service.
“The new freight yard that will enable cargo pick up and drop off at any time, day or night, will assist to alleviate the current freight constraints of Station Pier which requires freight to be collected immediately on discharge,” he said.
“In addition, the new facility will be located within 40 minutes from 80 per cent of our Victorian-based freight customers and 55 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.”