PUP promises fast ferry across Bass Strait

TASMANIA will have a new fast and low-cost ferry across Bass Strait if the Palmer United Party wins the upcoming election, PUP Tasmania leader Kevin Morgan announced yesterday.

The ferry would seat between 600 and 800 people and would take between five and six hours to get to Victoria - almost half the time of TT-Line.

Mr Morgan said the ferry would operate from multiple ports across Tasmania, starting in the North and eventually in the South.

He said it would operate at least twice a day to begin with and more services could be added if needed.

"We're looking to make a service on the Bass Strait that is wonderful to the people of Tasmania and the mainland," Mr Morgan said.

He said total costs for the ferry had not been decided, nor had a company to build or supply the ferry.

"We are looking but we're not locked in to anything at the moment," Mr Morgan said.

Palmer United Party federal leader Clive Palmer joined Mr Morgan for yesterday's announcement at Launceston's Grand Chancellor and said the Bass Strait ferry was a very important service for the state and something that money needed to be spent on immediately.

"We've got to improve the link and we have to make it affordable and predictable," he said.

He said the ferry would not affect TT-Line's operations.

"Commercial companies are just there to make a profit whereas the government is there to serve the people, so it's really got nothing to do with them," Mr Palmer said.

The Palmer United Party will make more policy announcements in Hobart today.

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