Island barge and ferry operators, Sealink, are on track planning for new ferries for the Southern Bay Islands’ vehicle services.
This is despite another major acquisition for the growing water shipping services and tourism company.
In recent weeks Sealink has acquired the popular Bruny Island service in Southern Tasmania.
Bruny Island is currently serviced by a unique double-decker ferry that can carry up to nearly 100 cars.
It boasts a huge tourism component, whilst the permanent residents of Bruny Island number just 700.
In making that acquisition, Sealink announced it would be building new ferries for that new service.
The Friendly Bay islander became aware of the situation and wondered if that promise of new ferries in Tasmania could have an affect on the new ferries proposed for the Bay Islands?
We put the question to Sealink Travel Group CEO Jeff Ellison.
He said: “Yes, we are working through the government approval process in relation to new ferries for islandS of Southern Moreton Bay.
“This is an extensive process due to the number of interested parties for which approval is required; environmental, indigenous, council and state, etc.
Jeff Ellison also spoke about the Bruny Island purchase: “ SeaLink has recently won a tender to operate the Bruny Island Ferry.
“This 10 + 10 year contract commenced on the 23rd September 2018. SeaLink proposes to build up to two new ferries for this service.”
He then went on to say that the Tasmanian investment would have no impact on the Bay islands: “ No, The Bruny Island investment will have no effect on our plans to upgrade the Southern Bay Island vehicle ferry service.”
• The unique two-level Bruny Island vehicular and passenger ferry.