GeelongPort has secured the prestigious Project of the Year award at the 2023 Endeavour Awards, a testament to their innovative efforts in transforming Corio Quay South precinct into the new home for Spirit of Tasmania. This ambitious undertaking spanned over two years and involved meticulous planning, coordination, and execution.
GeelongPort’s dedicated project team and partners managed a trio of extensive construction packages encompassing marine works, landside construction, and refurbishing the passenger terminal building. The 12-hectare new precinct isn’t just a state-of-the-art passenger and freight terminal; it’s a comprehensive facility featuring a 600-car vehicle marshalling area, parking for 150 semi-trailers, crew accommodations, a café, and even a children’s play area.
This project has redefined global standards for terminal ferry facilities, demonstrating exemplary practices in engaging with local communities and traditional owners. The project also boosted the local economy by predominantly hiring Australian contractors and suppliers.
“The construction of Spirit of Tasmania Quay was a complex amalgamation of marine, civil, and architectural efforts,” said Sinead Redmond, head of infrastructure delivery at GeelongPort, in discussing the challenges of the project.
“Our pride lies in the unique three-level access ramp, a global first, accommodating diverse vehicle types simultaneously. Despite COVID-19 lockdowns, supply chain delays, and weather challenges, our team’s resilience and the support from local contractors were pivotal.”
On the strategic necessity of the project, Redmond commented, “Spirit of Tasmania’s move from a constrained one-hectare site in Melbourne to a custom-built, 12-hectare terminal in Geelong marked a significant transition. This move catered to their future needs, welcoming larger vessels, and resulted in a record 450,012 passengers in the 2022-23 Financial Year. Moreover, it contributed to creating 750 jobs and boosted Geelong’s tourism revenue by $21 million in just one year.”
Redmond also highlighted the invaluable role of external stakeholders, stating, “the collaboration with local residents and the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (WTOAC) was instrumental. Their input not only influenced the construction methodology but also enriched the terminal with Indigenous art and landscape design. A significant feature is an 80-metre mural, showcasing the narrative of the orange-bellied parrot, symbolizing the connection between Victoria and Tasmania.”
Looking forward, Redmond expressed optimism about the project’s long-term impact. “The arrival of Spirit of Tasmania has bolstered the link between regional Victoria and Tasmania, promising to unlock further trade and investment opportunities. This strategic relocation is an exemplar for other entities considering expansion in regional centres.”
On the significance of the Endeavour Awards recognition, Redmond stated: “Being honoured by our peers in the manufacturing industry is immensely gratifying. It not only acknowledges our hard work and innovation but also encourages us to continue setting high standards in our future endeavours.”
GeelongPort’s journey in establishing the Spirit of Tasmania Quay is a story of vision, collaboration, and perseverance. The successful completion and subsequent recognition of this project underscore the potential of innovative infrastructure projects to stimulate local economies, enhance connectivity, and create lasting community impacts.