Will Hodgman has been caught out in Question Time today regarding the dangerous lack of maritime pilots at the Port of Hobart.
Over the past 12 months Labor, unions and the community have been raising concerns about a shortage of marine pilots available to ensure that freight and cruise vessels can dock safely and efficiently at our ports.
Shadow Roads and Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne said there was currently only one pilot available in southern Tasmania.
“One marine pilot has had to cover the port 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the past month,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“From Will Hodgman’s bumbling answer today, it appears it will be at least three weeks until there is more help on deck.
“He claimed there were three pilots available at Hobart despite two of those people being on extended leave.
“He even boasted about future Chinese Icebreaker visits, despite a lack of even the most basic of capacity available to facilitate them.
“It’s not only unsafe to expect one pilot to be on call for every second of the day, but heading into the busy cruise ship season presents an unacceptable risk to all users of the port.
“These problems have been known to the Government all year – so why have they not stepped in to fix it and keep people safe, as well as ensuring business and tourism continues without incident.”
David O’Byrne MP
Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure