Tasmania's multi-port system goes from strength to strength

TasPorts has reported a strong result for the 2021-22 financial year, with freight volumes increasing by almost 3% to 14.9 million tonnes and improved financial performance in its Annual Report tabled in the Tasmanian Parliament.


25 October 2022

TasPorts Chairman Stephen Bradford said freight volumes were nearing pre-COVID figures with strong growth recorded in containerised freight movements, with a record 607,205 total equivalent units transiting the multi-port system along with strong growth in mineral exports.

“Importantly, I’m able to report a significantly improved financial result for the year with profit after tax improving considerably from a net loss of $2.2 million in 2020-21 to a consolidated net profit of $12.7 million in 2021-22,” Mr Braford said.

“This significant improvement was the result of various factors including the renegotiation of legacy contracts with major coastal customers, an 11% increase in vessel visits, a 2.8% increase in freight movements and the return of regular flights to Devonport Airport.

“This is an impressive result in the face of ongoing global uncertainty and a transition to ‘Living with COVID’ and positions TasPorts well to continue to invest in the Tasmania’s multi-port system for the benefit of the State through our Port Master Plan,” Mr Bradford said.

During the year, work successfully progressed on the $241 million redevelopment at the Port of Devonport, along with planning for major redevelopments at the ports of Hobart and Burnie.

“Devonport’s Project QuayLink is the largest port infrastructure investment in a generation and will enable a significant increase in capacity for both freight and vehicles, facilitating exponential growth over a 30-year horizon at this major trade gateway,” Mr Bradford said.

“Along with planning for major redevelopments at Hobart and Burnie, these projects and initiatives will transform the Tasmanian port landscape leading up to 2030.”

Mr Bradford said the company’s strong commitment to King Island continued with the restructuring of the Bass Island Line shipping service provided by the John Duigan into a weekly return service from the Port of Devonport to the Port of Grassy.

“Shipping services and connections are determined by the needs of the cargo owner. The strong preference of cargo owners for a Tasmanian-focused service was demonstrated by a decline in direct cargo volumes to and from Victoria and the rapid take-up of the Devonport call.”

In late January, TasPorts was impacted by a serious allision between the CSL cement carrier Goliath and two TasPorts stationary tugs at the Port of Devonport.

Mr Bradford said from day one the company was focused on removing the wrecks and returning all commercial berths at the Port of Devonport to full operations, while at the same time carefully managing environmental and safety risks.

“The allision remains an incident under investigation by the relevant authorities. Legal proceedings have commenced in the Federal Court to recover all costs incurred.”

Mr Bradford noted the commencement of the Port Services Regulatory Review by the Department of State Growth in 2021-22 as requested by TasPorts.

“Ensuring the optimum safety model for Tasmania is critical,” he said.

“I would observe that the lessons learned from the Goliath incident provide a stark example of the importance of having in place a proactive pilotage service at the ready, alongside a suitably resourced port service capable of meeting the demands of emergency response and recovery.

“We look forward to the completion of the regulatory review in 2022-23,” Mr Bradford said.