SeaLink Marine & Tourism (SeaLink), part of the ASX-listed Kelsian Group, will deliver certainty for Kangaroo Island residents, businesses and visitors by ensuring the continuous operation of safe, reliable, and customer-focused vehicle and passenger ferry services on the critical transport link, having secured the Kangaroo Island Ferry Service Contract in a competitive market tender.
Kelsian Group CEO Clint Feuerherdt said SeaLink will drive new investment and visitation to South Australia by delivering an incredibly affordable, reliable and regular transport outcome for Kangaroo Island residents.
“Importantly, SeaLink will deliver significant fare reductions for residents from early 2022, more than two years before operations commence under the new Kangaroo Island Ferry Service Contract.
“We have a 32-year history of the safe and reliable delivery of this critical ferry service across the treacherous and exposed Backstairs Passage and under this new contract, we will continue to serve the residents, businesses and tourists of Kangaroo Island through until at least 2039, with two further 5-year option terms beyond that.
“We will also deliver a significant increase in our schedule and capacity that will help sustain the future growth of Kangaroo Island, investing an estimated $50 million in new larger drive-through ferries delivering a faster service, and upgraded infrastructure, to future proof this service for the next 25 years.”
SeaLink SA contributes an estimated $78 million to Gross State Product and provides 675 full-time equivalent South Australian jobs, including 120 Kangaroo Island residents, through tourism, travel, and corporate operation.
“As a local company that had its very beginning linked to the Kangaroo Island ferry, the ongoing success of this flagship business in inherently important to Kelsian and our global business.
“In selecting SeaLink, the Government of South Australia has a partner who has a deep commitment to continuing the promotion of the island and successful operation of this important transport link,” he said
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the new contract was a big win for Kangaroo Island and all South Australians.
“This new contract with SeaLink is fantastic news for tourism, business and for residents on Kangaroo Island, with more services, cheaper fares for residents, cheaper freight and new larger capacity vessels making the Island an even more desirable destination,” he said.
“Once the new contract has fully come into effect, it will be easier than ever to visit and experience the natural beauty and pristine environment of Kangaroo Island,” he said.
Mr Wingard said SeaLink was a proven performer, having provided passenger, vehicle and freight services on the Cape Jervis-Penneshaw route since 1989.
“SeaLink’s international tourism know-how and connections are vital to the Kangaroo Island industry,” he said.
“SeaLink has made it clear they are in this for the long haul, exploring investment in the rebuilding of tourism accommodation lost in the 2020 Kangaroo Island Bushfire in another win for local tourism.”