The Tasmanian Liberal Government is providing $4.1 million in the 2020-21 State Budget to ensure the continuation of essential air freight and passenger services to King and Flinders Islands, and to facilitate the development of new passenger services between Hobart and the Bass Strait Islands.
The State Budget also provides $2.4 million to support access to key international markets for time-sensitive air freight, through domestic and/or direct international air services.
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tasmanian exports were significantly impacted as a result of the decrease in international passenger flights, which reduced freight capacity.
We acted quickly, providing $2.6 million to support air freight and passenger services, ensuring the underwriting of international export air services and continued access to the Bass Strait Islands.
This enabled the Government to support a core network of regular passenger transport services to King and Flinders Islands, by providing funding support to Sharp Airlines.
We also provided funding support to TasFast Freight to ensure the continued transport of time-sensitive medical supplies into Tasmania and freight from King Island, as well as support to Airlines of Tasmania to transport time sensitive medical freight between Victoria and Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Government’s agreement with Pionair Australia provided joint funding with the Australian Government through the International Freight Assistance Mechanism brokered by the Australian Co-ordinator General, underwriting an ‘airbridge’ up to twice a week to guarantee capacity for time-sensitive agricultural and seafood exports.
This year’s State Budget is focused on recovering and rebuilding a strong Tasmania, and it is vital we support freight services to continue exporting Tasmania’s world-class produce for our Tasmanian businesses and our economy.