Port operating company, GeelongPort, has agreed with transport business, TT-Line, to relocate the Victorian port home of the Spirit of Tasmania vessels from Station Pier, Port Melbourne, to Corio Quay, north of Geelong.
The project is reported to be an important investment in regional Australia, which will increase freight and exports for Victoria and jobs and tourism in regional Victoria.
GeelongPort CEO, Brett Winter, said that the deal with TT-Line will create major economic, employment and tourism opportunities for Geelong, the Bellarine and the wider G21 region.
“Bringing the iconic Spirit of Tasmania vessels to GeelongPort is a huge coup for the Geelong region," said Winter.
"Each year over 450,000 passengers and 105,000 twenty–foot equivalent units of freightsail with Spirit of Tasmania," he said.
Winter is working with key stakeholders to streamline planning approvals.
The project is expected to generate up to 75 construction jobs over the two year build program, according to GeelongPort, while increasing tourism expenditure in the greater Geelong region by up to $174.1 million by 2029.
In addition there will be a number of new opportunities for regional hospitality, agribusiness, and logistics services.
The proposed solution at GeelongPort’s Corio Quay, located in Geelong’s north, would provide a dedicated, large scale passenger and freight terminal that would transform Spirit of Tasmania’s customer experience.
With access to the Princes Highway and Freeway, Corio Quay is near two rail stations, 15 minutes from Avalon Airport and a mere 50 minutes from the Great Ocean Road.
The new 12-hectare dedicated site will include a purpose-built passenger terminal building, a passenger vehicle marshalling area for 600 cars, more efficient passenger vehicle check in, security facilities, public amenities, crew accommodation, a cafe, children’s play area and a pet exercise area.
“Whether it be passengers or freight, GeelongPort have designed a solution to optimise the overall port experience, whilst providing unprecedented flexibility and value to Spirit of Tasmania and their customers," said Winter.
“Working with TT-Line, the Victorian Government and the City of Greater Geelong Council, we’ll develop a plan to ensure there’s appropriate infrastructure to support the increase in traffic and minimise any potential disruption to our customers and the local community during both construction and operational phases," he said.