PROJECT QuayLink is progressing at the Port of Devonport with work soon to commence on a three-tiered ramp for the new Spirit of Tasmania vessels.

The Tasmanian government said TT-Line is due to start work imminently on the multi-level ramp, which will be used to embark and disembark the new ferries.

The reclaim area for Project QuayLink is now complete, and the building of the new berth pocket and wharf infrastructure are progressing well, according to the state government.

Minister for infrastructure and transport Michael Ferguson said QuayLink would unlock a billion-dollar investment through shipping companies seeking to invest in larger, more efficient vessels to meet growth and demand.

“Three new vessels, commissioned to arrive in 2024, will increase Devonport’s freight capacity by 40%, with an additional 160,000 passengers visiting via Devonport every year,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Through this project, TasPorts will deliver a real-time three-dimensional vessel port-monitoring system, renewable energy shore power for our customers and an improved port layout.

“Works are well under way with 56 workers directly onsite, 88 Tasmanian businesses contracted directly and generating a local spend of $61 million, above and beyond the required two-thirds of the contract’s value to be spent with Tasmanian businesses.”

Mr Ferguson highlighted “local expertise” in crane hire, electrical, diving, reinforcing, surveying, marine, civil contractors, welding, earth moving, plumbing and waste management.

“Local businesses [are] providing the aggregate for the rock bags, concrete for the on-site pour and pre-cast for the different elements of the wharf,” he said.

“TasPorts has staged the works to stimulate local supply and spend.

“All but the final of 51 piles are in place and four of the 61 tonne headstocks were in place by the end of October.

Mr Ferguson noted that TasPorts had released its first sustainability report for QuayLink, a year-on-year assessment of sustainability measures and environmental monitoring.

“The engagement work undertaken by QuayLink assisted in the EcoPorts accreditation for the Port of Devonport,” he said.

“There’s also a local community engagement with the Project QuayLink team. TasPorts has implemented a school’s engagement program with the Devonport East Primary School to inspire and educate local children.

“This program provides interactive learning experiences about Tasmanian ports via the science, literacy and art curriculums.

“In the coming months, TasPorts employees will facilitate outdoor excursions to further build the knowledge of students at the school and open their eyes to future local career opportunities.”

The QuayLink project represents the largest investment in port infrastructure in Tasmania in more than a quarter of a century, according to the state government.

This $240 million infrastructure project at the Port of Devonport aims to to future-proof the city as a tourism and freight gateway for the next 50 years.