Promise to cut Spirit fares stands: Hidding

THE state government has maintained TT-Line was told of its commitment to slash Spirit of Tasmania fares last month, despite a right to information request indicating the company had no information relating to the election promise.

The RTI request was released by Opposition Leader Bryan Green yesterday.

In it, TT-Line was asked to provide any information in its possession relating to the government's pledge to discount Spirit of Tasmania fares.

A company employee responded to the request on May 28, saying: "I could not locate any information directly relevant to the incoming government's expressed intentions or election commitments regarding the discounting of TT- Line fares."

Mr Green said the government had "serious explaining to do" over the lack of any record it requested that the company reduce its fares.

"This throws into serious doubt whether the Liberals ever intended to honour their promise, which won them significant support at the last election," Mr Green said.

However, Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding said he wrote to the TT-Line board in May, informing its members of the government's plans.

"As I told Parliament last week, I have written to TT- Line to ask that it develops a new business case where passengers, seats and sailing are the focus," Mr Hidding said.

"This letter also requests the board to take note of and act upon our election commitment to lower average annual fares by up to 20 per cent."

Mr Hidding said Tasmanians had shown their support for the Liberals TT- Line policy at the March state election, and he stood by the commitment to drive down fares on the ferries.TT Line declined to comment on the RTI request when contacted yesterday.

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