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The privatisation of the King Island ferry service: Emerging issues and challenges


House, A and Fanam, PD, The privatisation of the King Island ferry service: Emerging issues and challenges, Proceedings of the Australasian Coasts & Ports 2019 Conference, 10-13 September 2019, Hobart, Australia, pp. 1-6. ISBN 978-1-925627-23-7 (2019) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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This paper aims to analyse the challenges facing the privatisation of the King Island ferry service in the Australian island state of Tasmania. As has been well documented, the socio-economic impact of a sustainable and reliable ferry service is imperative to the survival and prosperity of the King Island community. After the departure of the SeaRoad Mersey service in 2016, the Tasmanian Government was required to step in to provide a transport service, through TasPorts subsidiary Bass Island Line. The findings of this paper have revealed that after many iterative improvements, the service is now adequately meeting the needs of its customers.

However, Bass Island Line since its incorporation has been operating at a loss, with research suggesting that it will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. The advantage of private-sector involvement is understood to increase financial and operational efficiencies, however, the current freight market and stagnant economic outlook for King Island were discovered to be deterring investment for potential investors. The result is a service that will likely require continued Government support, whether it is privatised or not, this paper suggested that for the service to be sustainable into the future, it is imperative the Tasmanian Government has continued stakeholder collaboration. This leaves the Tasmanian Government in a position to deliver on its mission of maximising the social benefit to the community of King Island. However, it is well understood that public-sector governance is more often than not inefficient; not to mention it deviates from the trend toward privatisation of ports and maritime services.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:privatisation, ferry service, King Island, Ro-Ro service, freight market
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Transportation, logistics and supply chains
Research Field:Transportation, logistics and supply chains not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Transport
Objective Group:Water transport
Objective Field:Water transport not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:House, A (Mr Alexander House)
UTAS Author:Fanam, PD (Dr Peter Fanam)
ID Code:135049
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Maritime and Logistics Management
Deposited On:2019-09-25
Last Modified:2019-11-07

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