SeaLink discount ending, time for government subsidy

Today is the final day people travelling to Kangaroo Island can buy SeaLink’s discounted ferry tickets, prompting the Opposition to call for a government subsidy to provide ongoing stimulus for the bushfire-affected area.

To encourage more visitors, SeaLink introduced a discounted $15 passenger fare for bookings for travel up to June 30. The discount ends today.

In January, Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas and Member for Mawson Leon Bignell put forward a proposal to slash the cost of ferry fares by introducing a 30 per cent subsidy for six months. The proposal received overwhelmingly positive feedback from KI and across the state.

With the end of SeaLink’s discount, the Opposition is renewing calls for a six-month subsidy, which would run for bookings made from 1 March through to the end of August, covering both SeaLink and the KI Connect service.

Earlier this week, the Tourism Industry Council South Australia’s quarterly tourism barometer revealed a sharp drop in tourism business confidence in the months leading up to – and including – December 2019.

The tourism industry has been widely critical of the Marshall Liberal Government’s $23 million of cuts to the tourism budget; especially at a time when the State’s national share of tourism and international visitor spend is declining.

On latest numbers, tourism on Kangaroo Island contributes $126 million to the South Australian economy and provides for some 1,100 direct and indirect jobs.

 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Zoe Bettison

The flames may be extinguished and the smoke subsided, but Kangaroo Island’s tourist economy needs our support now more than ever.

The real rebuild comes now, when the media attention is beginning to fade and the residents of the Island have taken stock of their losses and – in some cases – begun the process of starting over.

Beyond the initial sugar rush of the #BookThemOut campaign, we’re hearing anecdotally that bookings are drying up in the months ahead.

Cheaper fares will encourage people to visit the island and deliver a major boost for Island businesses and tourism operators.

 

SeaLink fares

 

Passenger/Vehicle

One Way

Subsidised

Return

Subsidised

Adult

$49

$34.30

$98

$68.60

Child

$25

$17.50

$50

$35

Australian student

$40

$28

$80

$56

Australian Concession

$40

$28

$80

$56

Infant

Free of charge

Passenger Motor Vehicle

$98

$68.60

$196

$137.20

Caravan or trailer

$98

$68.60

$196

$137.20