GeelongPort has welcomed Spirit of Tasmania to its new home in Geelong in a move that will benefit Geelong and regional Victoria for 30 years and beyond.
GeelongPort CEO Brett Winter said the project was a significant and exciting undertaking for Victoria’s second largest city.
“We thank Spirit of Tasmania for selecting Geelong as its new home,” he said.
“Since the announcement in 2020 we have worked hard to transform a blank canvas into a world-class economic and tourism precinct.
“The arrival of Spirit of Tasmania marks an exciting chapter in the history of the Greater Geelong region.”
Spirit of Tasmania’s move has the potential to significantly bolster tourism and business opportunities, with projections indicating the move will increase tourism expenditure in Geelong by $57.3 million, and in Victoria by $174.1 million before 2030.
Mr Winter said the brand-new, purpose-designed Spirit of Tasmania Quay featured world first, innovative technology.
“Through this project we introduced new engineering innovations to the region, including a world first three-level access ramp fabricated right here in Geelong and an Automated Mooring System (AMS) that allows vessels to be berthed with the push of a button,” he said.
At the peak of construction, there were 400 workers onsite who worked a total of 44,000 hours to get the job done.
Mr Winter thanked all key partners for their support on what was a very complex construction project.
“Together with our employees, project partners, contractors and community members we have created something really special,” he said.
The precinct features culturally significant artwork and themes co-designed with the Wadawarrung Traditional Owners Group.
“Our team worked closely with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Group throughout the project and we’re extremely proud of the local indigenous art and themes on display to welcome visitors to our region,” Mr Winter said.
Designed with longevity in mind, the world-first three-level access ramp will service both Spirit of Tasmania’s current ships and larger vessels due to arrive in 2024.
“The benefits of Spirit of Tasmania’s move to Geelong will be felt for many generations to come.”