Abolishing carbon tax a win for tourism, says Hidding
PASSENGERS will save $3 a trip and $6 on their vehicle travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania, now that the federal government's carbon tax has been scrapped, according to state Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding.
In announcing the savings for passengers and freight yesterday, Mr Hidding said this was a win for tourism as it would encourage more people to travel to the state.
He said the savings equated to $36 for a family of four with a vehicle for a return trip.
"Price is a major factor in a travel decision and it's dear enough as it is," Mr Hidding said.
"We as a Liberal government have a policy to drive down the average annual cost of ticket prices across Bass Strait and drive up passenger numbers."
He said with the state government's policy for improvement and better deals "we expect to see a huge rise in passengers into Tasmania across the next four years".
Mr Hidding said he believed the discounts would be in line with passengers' expectations.
Savings would be backdated for everyone who had travelled on TT-Line since July 1 and for those who had already booked tickets for future travel dates.
Mr Hidding said the axing of the carbon tax was a step towards, but not part of, the state government's pre-election promise to achieve up to a 20per cent average annual reduction in ticket prices.
The government is waiting on a business plan from TT-Line, operators of the Spirit of Tasmania, for a clearer picture of how savings could occur.
Mr Hidding said the government was still determining the budget and any impact of the carbon tax.
Former premier Lara Giddings said last week she believed the state would see a $70million black hole in the budget due to the loss of the tax.
Hydro Tasmania also announced the loss of 100 jobs, partially in response to the axing of the tax. Mr Hidding said many Tasmanians did not understand paying a tax for generating clean energy and the repeal would see a reduction in their power bills.
A Labor spokesman yesterday described the three dollar saving on fares for the Spirit of Tasmania as "an absolute joke".
"This is a drop in the ocean at a time when we are still waiting for the Liberals to deliver their election promise of a 20 per cent reduction in fares," he said.