Legislative Council, Wednesday 15 November 2023
Ms FORREST question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
(1) With regard to the operations of TasPorts and the recently announced governance review;
(a) Have any external reviews or investigations been conducted into matters related to:
(ii) risk, including financial risk;
(iii) safety and security; and
(iv) any other related matters?
(b) For any reviews or investigations conducted related to matters in 1(a):
(i) what body or person undertook the review or investigation; and
(ii) what was the outcome of that review or investigation?
(2) Previous TasPorts Annual Reports note the utilisation of over 100 consultants in each of the last 3 financial years, and an average of $5.2M spent on consultants in each of the last 4 financial years, 2019-20 — 2022-23 an average of 113 per year at an average cost of $5,380,750. In the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years, in excess of $1.6 million was spent on ‘Business Advice’ over that 2 year period. IG Partners were paid some $818,000 for ‘Organisational Management Services’. With regard to the use of consultants by TasPorts:
(a) what financial controls are in place to prevent cost over runs on consultancies;
(b) what specific consultancy services were IG Partners engaged to provide;
(c) with regard to IG Partners:
(i) did they complete and fulfil their contract;
(ii) if IG Partners did fulfil the contract, what outcomes did Tasports introduce as a result of the work of IG Partners; and
(iii) if IG Partners did not fulfil the contract, in what way did IG Partners not fulfil the contract; and
(d) what checks and balances are in place to ensure consultants are delivering outcomes?
(3) With regard to the spoil related to the Devonport Eastern Berths QuayLink project:
(a) what is Tasports’ plan for the spoil that has already been dumped at Devonport airport; and
(b) what costs were allocated to the stakeholders (TT Line and Searoad) for the dumping of that spoil at the Devonport Airport?
(4) With respect to the collision between the bulk carrier Goliath and the moored tugs York Cove and Campbell Cove in Devonport, Tasmania in January 2022, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) final report released on 23 March 2023 identified human error as the cause, and noted actions have been taken by the vessel owners to prevent re-occurrence.
(a) Does Tasports still insist on a Pilot and tug(s) to assist the arrival and/or departure of the vessel;
(b) and if so;
(i) what is the cost of this to the vessel operator; and
(ii) why does this requirement remain in place;
(iii) when will Goliath be permitted to resume normal operations; and
(iv) will the income generated since the final ATSB report be offset against the claim currently in court?
a. Governance reviews are continuous and for the most part are undertaken internally. This includes reviews of policies, procedures and other relevant matters. To the extent that external advice is required to ensure compliance, TasPorts works with specialist legal advisers.
b. As above, all reviews to date have been undertaken internally. To the extent that external legal advice is required to ensure legal compliance, TasPorts works with specialist legal advisers.
a. There are contractual conditions contained within the engagement arrangement with the consultants. Financial controls for consultancies include monthly reporting, including to management and to the Board on actual versus budget; regular forecasting of future spend; and regular meetings with business unit managers to review spend.
b. Specific consultancy services were for a review of TasPorts’ Operating Model to ensure that it supports the achievement of TasPorts’ Vision and key result areas.
ii. The operating model project, known as Project Proteus, commenced in early June 2021 with the design of all new structures, processes, governance frameworks and other organisation “wiring”. That clearly demonstrated there were opportunities to increase efficiencies across human resource and finance functions. The work of Proteus transitioned into a new project called 1TasPorts to continue the rollout of the operating model, management governance model and to further embed continuous improvement into the business.
d. As before, there are contractual conditions contained within the engagement arrangement with the consultants. Financial controls for consultancies include monthly reporting to the management team and to the Board on actual versus budget; regular forecasting of future spend; and regular meetings with business unit managers to review spend.
a. The vast majority of material excavated from the Mersey River as part of the Devonport East QuayLink project is being used to create a landscaped windbreak at the nearby Devonport Airport with some material also being reused on site in Devonport.
b. No costs have been or will be allocated to TT-Line or SeaRoad for the transfer and/or relocation of the material.
a. Yes. Following the January 2022 allision incident, and given the protection of human life, marine assets and the environment are critical considerations for all vessel movements in Tasmanian waters, the Harbour Master mandated that the vessel could not operate in the port without a marine pilot on board. Further, the Harbour Master mandated that there must be a tug in attendance and made fast for arrivals. That second mandate was extended to arrivals and departures thereafter. The mandate has been in force since.
i. The cost to the vessel operator is a question for the vessel operator but TasPorts notes pilot and towage charges are a matter of public record – they are published on TasPorts website under its Schedule of Port Charges;
ii. As per response to question 1) (a).
iii. That remains a matter for the Harbour Master noting the protection of human life, marine assets and the environment are critical considerations for all vessel movements in Tasmanian waters; and
iv. On the assumption that the ‘income’ is a reference to charges for the pilotage and towage services referred to in (1)(a), the question is, respectfully based on an incorrect premise. The ‘income’ is in fact payment to TasPorts for services rendered. In the circumstances, there is no appropriate basis, in fact or in law, to offset these charges against the amount being claimed by TasPorts.