Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A catamaran from Geelong to Burnie!

from w
Another wild idea from City Hall.  Okay, nice idea to have a quick trip from Geelong to Tasmania but in a catamaran across Bass Strait?  Rough sea - seasickness and could tumble.
Local leaders weigh in on Geelong to Burnie catamaran plan
JULY 13, 2015 1:38PM

CLIVE Palmer has weighed in on Senator Jacqui Lambie and Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons’ push for a catamaran service across Bass Strait, accusing them of watering down a Palmer United Party policy.
Mr Palmer said plans for better transportation links across Bass Strait would already be well advanced if Senator Lambie, who split from the PUP in November, had not turned her back on the people of Tasmania to become an independent.
He dismissed Senator Lambie and Cr Lyons’ push for a high-speed catamaran, which would cost about $100 million to build, as “mere lip service”.
On Friday Cr Lyons and Senator Lambie teamed up in Geelong to announce a bid for a daily, high-speed catamaran services between Geelong and Burnie. Senator Lambie said the huge catamarans could cross the strait in less than four hours, carrying up to 800 passengers and 400 cars, and that such a service would boost the ailing economies of both cities.
Cr Lyons said the Geelong council was going to form a strategic partnership with Senator Lambie to push for the funding to start the project.
But Mr Palmer said there was nothing new in the idea.
“This is a watered down idea taken from original Palmer United Party policy developed from the grassroots by our Tasmanian leader Kevin Morgan,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“The Palmer United Party had developed significant planning and budgeting for a much more substantial model than Senator Lambie is proposing, which would have been closer to delivery for the people of Tasmania if she hadn’t deserted the party.
“There is nothing new in this idea. If Senator Lambie did not break ranks with the Palmer United Party and instead remained loyal and voted with the balance of power in the Senate she would have been able to deliver this service for the people of Tasmania instead of paying it lip service.”
Meanwhile the proposed catamaran builder Incat said Tasmanians were keen for a high-speed service between Geelong and Burnie and that the boat would cost about $100 million to construct.
Judy Benson said the Hobart company had been in talks with Senator Jacqui Lambie long before she and Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons announced the idea on Friday.
Ms Benson said the project needed funding and a ship operator before any works would start on a 135m vessel, which would take up to two years to complete.
“There’s been quite a push for this in Tasmanian news. I’d use it,” Ms Benson said.
“It was quite a platform of (Senator Lambie’s) when she was campaigning in the beginning. There have been discussions on and off over a number of years for a service to a southern Victorian port.”

Meanwhile back home, the joint bid has surprised local leaders.
G21 chief Elaine Carbines said the first she had heard of the proposal was when she opened the Geelong Advertiser on Saturday.
She said, while she’d welcome a feasibility study and business case, she wasn’t sure there was much of a demand locally.
“I’m not convinced there’s a call for such a journey, but I’m happy to be convinced otherwise. You can’t have a closed mind about new ideas,” she said.
While the grand plan has attracted some criticism that Geelong was punch drunk with priority projects, Tourism Greater Geelong and Bellarine head Roger Grant said the idea was worth exploring.
He said, regardless of whether people wanted to travel directly between Geelong and Burnie or not, it was about creating a market rather than just responding to it.
“(Senator Lambie and Cr Lyons) are very passionate people with agendas, and both agendas seem to be about growing the Geelong economy. You can be cynical but you can’t knock the basic premise upon which they’re coming from,” he said.


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