CEO Introduction

For the first time in five years the Company recorded an operating profit, this is a fantastic result that is testament to our commitment to ensuring the Company is economically sustainable for the benefit of the Tasmanian industry and broader community. I am extremely proud of the significant achievements that the state-wide teams have delivered over the past 12 months. The fit-for-purpose condition of our infrastructure continues to improve thanks to our rolling infrastructure program. We have once again tackled major works across key assets including the remediation of the Devonport Airport runway, Macquarie wharves in Hobart and the Woodchip Export Terminal in Burnie.

Photo of the CEO of TasPorts

The Year in Review

Our Safety and Environmental Commitment

Tasports has seen a significant improvement in key safety indicators over the last 12 months. Hazard identification has increased and this is a strong indicator of our ability to manage safety operations at our sites.

Our safety management systems were externally audited by BSI in 2016 with a focus on safety administration and site compliance. Strong external audit results led to the re-certification of our safety system to retain Australian standards and an upgrade to our quality management certification.

Our Customers

Our forestry customers were key to the increase in export volumes, particularly in the north of the state. In Tasports’ second year of management of the Burnie Woodchip Export Terminal, the open access facility has experienced an increase of 68.9% in woodchip exports.

The state’s ability to facilitate an increasing number of cruise ship calls saw another record season in 2015–16. Over 100,000 cruise passengers and crew visited Tasmanian ports during the 2015–16 cruise season, with 58 cruise ship visits state-wide comprising 162,792 passengers and crew.

Our Assets

As part of Tasports’ rolling 10 Year Infrastructure Plan, which aligns the maintenance, renewal and management of our wharf and related infrastructure portfolio, we undertook a large maintenance task over the last 12 months and invested $23.1 million in our infrastructure.

Following the delivery of the 30 Year Port Plan in late 2015, Tasports is developing localised port plans at each of the four major ports. The Port Master Plan Project was initiated in 2016 with bespoke plans for Burnie and Hobart in development and plans for Devonport and Bell Bay to follow in phase two of the state-wide project. The port plans focus on the next 10–15 years and aim to create a more detailed understanding of our specific infrastructure needs so that we can support existing customer growth and attract new customers and trade across various commodity types.

In 2016 Tasports implemented a state-wide property marketing/leasing strategy, which aims to improve the occupancy rates of land holdings outside of port-regulated areas. The main focus of this strategy is on the current underutilised areas in the Bell Bay Industrial Estate and the surrounding land holdings at the Devonport Airport.

As well as our commercial assets, the multi-year Community Asset Program continued in 2015–16, reaching 60% completion. A total of $17.6 million has been invested in community remediation projects assets across the key sites of Sullivan’s Cove, Stanley, Inspection Head and Strahan. The Community Asset Program has so far delivered over 75 projects state-wide. In 2015–16, our focus was on constructing the new finger piers at Stanley and the remediation of Franklin Wharf. In the 2015-2016 financial year, work started to demolish the existing deck and beams, to ensure that new prefabricated deck and beam elements could be constructed atop the original concrete piles

Our People

Tasports employs 257 permanent, fixed term and casual employees across eight ports. The majority of our employees work in our frontline service divisions of infrastructure, maintenance, operations and marine services. Tasports’ centralised payroll and employee support service platform, Chris 21, was implemented in stages over the 2014–15 financial year. The last 12 months has seen the software fully integrated into Tasports’ management and information systems. Standardised reporting has been rolled out for all managers and the system is now being used to capture and track learning and development aspects of employees.

Our Commercial Focus

In 2015–16 Tasports worked through the divestment process for the sale of landside moorings services across key ports, namely Burnie, Hobart and Devonport. The divestment of this activity will provide a significant increase in Tasports’ focus and delivery of core activities such as infrastructure maintenance. A transition process is currently underway for the divestment of this service to Qube Pty Ltd.

In 2015, Tasports and Australia’s largest stevedore, DP World Australia, entered into an exclusive two-year Memorandum of Understanding to work together to investigate the potential for an international Lift-On Lift-Off (LoLo) container terminal at the Port of Burnie.

The Devonport Airport has experienced strong growth in passenger numbers with an 11% increase since 2014. In 2015-16 a total of 145,000 passengers transited through the airport.

Where we operate

Map of Tasmania

Major projects and achievements

Devonport Airport Runway Resurface

The Devonport Airport has experienced strong growth in passenger numbers with an 11% increase since 2014. Tasports recognises the vital gateway for business and tourism in the state's northwest that the airport provides and, since acquiring Devonport Airport in 2006, has invested over $10 million in updating its infrastructure and facilities. In 2016, a major project to resurface the runway was delivered, restoring the runway’s structural integrity and ensuring ongoing performance and safety. This $5 million project will extend the lifespan of the runway for a further 15 years.

Fleet Renewal

Tasports’ 10 Year Fleet Renewal Program aims to improve the safety of employees and port assets and improve service to customers with an efficient and reliable fleet including tugs, pilot vessels and work boats. A key milestone of the Program in 2015–16 was the construction of a state-of-the-art pilot launch, the first of its kind in Tasmania. Since initiation of the Program in 2014, over $10 million has been invested in Tasports’ fleet. This includes the addition of three new work boats, over $1.5 million in remediation of existing vessels, $5 million on the construction of two new pilot launches and $4.5 million in the acquisition of replacement tug.

Burnie Port Optimisation Project

Completion of the Burnie Port Optimisation Project was a key achievement for Tasports in 2015. The Port of Burnie continued to operate as Tasmania’s busiest port while the redevelopment took place. The project resulted in 30% more container capacity and storage at the rail yard and safer and more efficient container handling. Trains are now handled in the expanded rail terminal and are no longer shunted along Burnie’s foreshore, which provides a significant community benefit. Managed by Tasports, the $12 million project was funded by the Australian Government, the Tasmanian Government, TasRail, Toll and Tasports.

Franklin Wharf

In early 2016 work began on Franklin Wharf Hobart to re-mediate the aging wharf infrastructure from Brooke Street Pier through to Elizabeth Street Pier. This central area continues to see an increase in use by locals and visitors alike. The remediation project will ensure the longevity of the asset well into the future.

What's coming up for 2016-17

  • Continued investment in infrastructure to support long term growth of freight in Tasmania.
  • Development of Port Master Plans for major ports, Burnie, Hobart, Devonport and Bell Bay.
  • Under-wharf remediation, deck repairs and pile maintenance will take place at the Port of Bell Bay No. 6 multi-use berth – increasing the life of the berth for 20 years.
  • Delivery of the second state-of-the-art pilot launch to service the Port of Burnie.
  • Remediation work in Hobart, particularly increasing the capacity of Macquarie wharves 2 and 3 to enable larger cruise ships to berth.
  • The Community Asset Program continues with the completion of Franklin Wharf remediation and the initiation of major works to the Strahan Main Wharf.

Chairman's Report

“It’s an exciting time to join the Board of Tasports. The company has worked extremely hard to create solid foundations that will enable ongoing commercial and business sustainability.

I would like to acknowledge former longstanding Chair Dr Dan Norton who retired after 10 years of service to Tasports – a tremendous contribution – as well as outgoing Directors Owen Williams, Evan Rolley and Jane Bennett. Dan, Owen, Jane and Evan have steered Tasports through difficult market fluctuations and, for the first time in five years, the business has this year returned to profitability.”

View Tasports’ full Annual Report here (PDF)

Photo of the Chairman of TasPorts