Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Les Dick Offers Flinders Islanders Freight Relief

Government moves to reestablish services
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA - Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure, Graeme Sturges, said today that a deal with Southern Shipping’s competitor, Les Dick Shipping, has been agreed so as to allow freight services between Flinders Island and the mainland to resume.

In a statement on the Tasmanian government’s website Sturges said that: “Our aim remains unblocking the road to Flinders Island. Given the special circumstances surrounding the Flinders Island Show, arrangements have been made for people who have product they wish to get to Flinders Island.

“They should contact Les Dick at LD Shipping and arrange for their goods to be at Berth 7, Bell Bay, by 5 pm tomorrow (Wednesday, October 14). I understand that a number of companies have already contacted Mr Dick. He has already done one return service to the island this week.

“We remain committed to ensuring a reliable shipping service for the Flinders Island community for the long term – but we are glad that we can offer this immediate assistance.”

The action comes after Mr. Sturges came under fire from Member of Parliament Kim Booth, who accused the Minister of “failure to ensure a satisfactory standard of shipping [which] has created this problem, and he must now wake up to the economic damage that his inaction is causing the Flinders community.”

The people of Flinders Island have been without a freight service since the crew of the ferry MV Matthew Flinders went on strike earlier this month due to non-payment of wages.

(pic: MV Matthew Flinders)