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Tenders sought for Maria Island ferry operations


Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (TPWS) is seeking tenders from operators to provide a minimum level of passenger ferry service to Maria Island National Park year round for the next three years.

The Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment, Paula Wriedt, said that following the withdrawal of the ferry service to the island in August 2007, TPWS has been exploring options for the provision of ferry services to Maria Island into the future.

"The Parks and Wildlife Service has listened to the concerns of potential operators and decided to adopt an open market approach for the ferry service, with no exclusivity in relation to use of the Maria Island jetty," Ms Wriedt said.

"What is being sought is a ferry operator with a minimum 40-seat ferry with freight capacity which is prepared to ensure a minimum level of service to the island during non-peak visitor periods."

A minimum requirement is two return trips per day between Triabunna and the Darlington jetty on four consecutive days per week during the quiet period of 15 May to 15 September each year.

"Maria Island is one of Tasmania's great national parks and we are hopeful of a successful outcome for this tender process," Ms Wriedt said.

Tenders close on 14 December 2007. Tender documents are available at www.tenders.tas.gov.au