Continuity of shipping services to King Island assured

The continuity of shipping services to the King Island community will not be impacted as a result of the John Duigan requiring to go into dry dock to investigate concerns regarding the vessel’s performance said TasPorts, the owner and operator of Bass Island Line.

TasPorts Chief Executive Officer Anthony Donald said Bass Island Line had moved quickly to ensure continuity of shipping to the community, chartering the King Islander for an interim period to ensure no disruption in service.

“Bass Island Line has demonstrated consistently its commitment to delivering a safe and reliable shipping service for the King Island community since operations commenced in April 2017,” Mr Donald said.

“Our minimum commitment is to deliver a weekly service and I can report that last financial year BIL completed 120 sailings, moving more than 79,000 tonnes of freight. This was an increase on the 102 sailings and 62,599 tonnes moved in 2018-2019.

“Irrespective of the vessel utilised, BIL has continued to ensure continuity of shipping. Like our fellow Bass Strait Shippers, BIL is subject to interruptions given the weather and sea conditions in Bass Strait, however the voyage statistics clearly show that despite this we are comfortably meeting our minimum commitment,” Mr Donald said. 

“Whilst the current performance issues of the John Duigan are disappointing and are being addressed, BIL services will continue to be maintained through charter vessel arrangements. 

“Safe and reliable shipping is vital to the King Island Community and TasPorts and BIL are satisfied that current charter arrangements will ensure the continuity of freight services,” Mr Donald said.

“I understand the community interest and moving forward, we welcome engagement and consultation with the King Island Shipping Group and King Island Council regarding how we can continue to work together to achieve a reliable and affordable service.”

Status update: The John Duigan left King Island on Monday morning and is travelling to Adelaide, where it will go into dry dock to enable investigations to be completed regarding current vessel performance concerns.