Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme
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The Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES) was introduced in September 1996.
The scheme assists in alleviating the cost of sea travel across Bass Strait for passengers accompanying an eligible vehicle. It assists with the cost associated with the transportation of eligible passenger vehicles interstate across Bass Strait.
In 2015–2016, the Australian Government provided assistance for approximately 190,000 eligible passenger vehicles under the scheme.
The scheme is administered in accordance with Ministerial Directions issued in June 2008, as amended by the Secretary of the Department effective 1 July 2016.
All claims for payment of the rebate under the scheme are assessed in accordance with the Ministerial Directions, and processed by the Department of Human Services' Hobart office on behalf of the Department.
The scheme is demand-driven and expenditure varies with economic conditions. In 2015–16, the Australian Government spent approximately $45 million in assistance under the scheme.
The following rebates are available from 1 July 2016:
- Up to $220 each way for a motor car
- Up to $220 each way for a bus
- Up to $440 each way for a motor home
- Up to $440 each way for an eligible passenger vehicle towing a caravan
- Up to $112 each way for a motorcycle
- Up to $32 each way for a bicycle
The rebates are reviewed annually.
The rebate is provided to the driver of an eligible passenger vehicle in the form of a reduced fare charged by a service operator. Accordingly, the service operator is not the recipient of the rebate, but is reimbursed on a monthly basis by the Australian Government for the total rebate provided to eligible passengers under the scheme.
Eligible drivers with a medical condition are able to access the reduced passenger vehicle fare available under the scheme if they travel on a commercial airline service between either:
- Melbourne and Devonport or
- a place on the Australian mainland and King Island or the islands of the Furneaux Group.
Their vehicle must be carried in the same direction of travel on a Bass Strait ferry service on or about the same day of travel.
The scheme is also available to eligible drivers who must fly between mainland Australia and King Island or the islands of the Furneaux Group in the absence of a passenger ferry service between the islands and mainland Australia.
In accordance with the Ministerial Directions, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) is required to monitor the effectiveness of the Scheme.
The latest monitoring report was released in January 2016 and covers the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015.
All enquiries concerning eligible vehicle bookings and level of fares applied under the scheme should be directed to the relevant ferry operator.
Prospective ferry operators seeking information on BSPVES and other associated administrative matters should contact:
Tasmanian Transport Programs
Department of Human Services
GPO Box 1269
HOBART TAS 7001
Phone: 131 11 58
Fax: (03) 6222 2149
More information is found at the Department of Human Services' BSPVES webpage.
The Department of Human Services undertakes the delivery of the BSPVES and the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme on behalf of the Department.