Mersey Slipway getting ship shape for market

Readying the Mersey Slipway, at the Port of Devonport, to take to market before the end of the financial year.


20 April 2023

TasPorts is readying the Mersey Slipway in Devonport to take to market before the end of the financial year.

Chief Operating Offer, Stephen Casey said TasPorts has selected environmental consultant Elgin Associates, a Tasmanian-based contaminated land specialist to oversee the work needed to remediate the site.

“With the scope of works needed now understood, we’re confident we can start seeking a new operator for the site by mid-year parallel to the final program of works to be undertaken at that time.”

Mr Casey said the site was vacated by the previous tenant in July 2022, after which time TasPorts discovered a number of environmental issues including site contamination.

“Our intention to return to the site to use was slowed by the need to understand the extent of damage and plan for the rehabilitation of the area to comply with all regulatory standards including safety and environmental controls,” Mr Casey said.

“It is very positive to have reached this stage and to have such a reputable remediation contractor to assist,” he said.

“It’s usual for shipyard and slipway sites like this to house hazardous waste, heavy metals such as copper found in anti-fouling paints, or hydrocarbons.”

“One of our first acts on site has been to remove approximately one tonne of asbestos.”

Mr Casey said other remediation works to be undertaken include the excavation and disposal of contaminated areas including hydrocarbon-impacted soil, oil store bund, concrete, impacted soil beneath the paint shed, remaining waste and blasting sands from stockpiles, slipways and other areas of the site, and disposal of wastes left on site.

The work will also include the demolition of buildings on site, and backfilling of voids.

“We have long recognised the importance of the slipway for the local community and worked steadily to bring it back to service,” he said.

“TasPorts has and continues to remain willing to work with any potential interested slipway operators in negotiating a contemporary lease at the site, which would include appropriate safety and environmental obligations.”

“The negotiation of any new lease at the Mersey Slipways site would require detailed due diligence on potential operators by TasPorts to ensure any future business operations provided the right level of slipway services and complied with all regulatory standards, including safety and environmental controls,” he said.