``When I visited King Island late last year, I discovered it will lose its shipping service within 12 months, as the SeaRoad Mersey will be replaced by a larger vessel.’’ Senator Lambie said.
``As a result, King Island Port needs an upgrade before it can accept any larger vessels. When I spoke to the King Island Shipping Group, they estimated the port needed a $60 million upgrade to satisfy the larger ships necessary to continue the King Island freight service.
``When I asked the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Senate Estimates Committee, led by Senator Richard Colbeck, if they planned to assist King Island with its shipping crisis, imagine my shock when the committee said the Federal Government has not received proposals from the state government.’’ Senator Lambie said.
``The Tasmanian Government’s lack of care or simple incompetence towards their own port is a devastating blow for the King Island community, who rely on their shipping services to make a living.
``Without an investment of $60 million in the King Island Port, the residents face a jump in their cost of living – which is already high – and/or decimation of their primary industries.
``Tasmanian Senator Colbeck admitted to me during Senate Estimates this week that King Island would most certainly require an infrastructure upgrade when King Island loses their shipping service – So why haven’t his state counterparts formed a proposal seeking assistance?’’ Senator Lambie asked.
``It is time the Tasmanian Government stop ignoring King Island, recognise its residents are Tasmanians too and treat them as such.’’