Mystery about end of bus contract

Tasmanian Labor

Infrastructure Minister and Treasurer Michael Ferguson has confirmed the cancellation of a significant contact and promise by the Liberal Government to build and deliver a new bus fleet in Tasmania.

Mr Ferguson confirmed the contract between Metro and BusTech for the delivery of 26 new buses built in Wynyard has ended with just eight buses delivered.

Crucially, while Mr Ferguson today told Estimates Hearings the government remained committed to the procurement of the additional 18 buses to fulfil his promise to add an extra 26 buses to the fleet, he could not say if the vehicles would be manufactured in Tasmania.

In December 2020 Mr Ferguson announced the 26 new buses would be added to the Metro fleet only to today confirm the cancellation of the deal.

Correspondence from the CEO of Metro states:

“BusTech was engaged to supply an additional 26 buses however due to problems relating to the fulfilment of the contract, Metro has decided to end the agreement and seek alternative sources for its future bus fleet.”

Mr Ferguson was unable to explain what issues had brought the end of the contract but the clear question is: As Minister in charge of the deal, has he been completely hands-off or does he not want Tasmanians to understand what went wrong?

Rebecca White MP

Labor Leader and Shadow Infrastructure Minister

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