Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme
The Temporary Higher Rebate under the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES) has ended.
The standard BSPVES rebate apply to bookings for sea travel from 1 July 2021 onwards. Please refer to the table below for the current rebate effective 1 July 2021.
On this page you will find information about the:
Purpose of the Scheme
The Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES) was introduced in September 1996 by the Australian Government.
The BSPVES aims to reduce the cost of seagoing travel between the mainland and Tasmania, by providing a rebate for the transportation of an eligible passenger vehicle across Bass Strait. In 2020-2021, the Australian Government provided assistance for approximately 123,564 eligible passenger vehicles, including 47,233 eligible passenger vehicles under the temporary higher rebate announced by the Australian Government in January 2021.
The BSPVES is administered in accordance with the Ministerial Directions approved by the responsible Minister on 1 September 2002, as amended from time to time.
The Ministerial Directions for the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme were last amended on 1 April 2021. The amendments implemented the BSPVES Temporary Higher Rebate for new travel bookings from 14 January 2021, for sea travel across Bass Strait from 1 March 2021 to 30 June 2021 capped at $6 million or whichever comes first.
All claims for payment of rebates for eligible passenger vehicles under the BSPVES are assessed in accordance with the Ministerial Directions, and processed by Services Australia on behalf of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
The BSPVES is a demand-driven program and expenditure varies with economic conditions. In 2020-2021 a total of $36.9 million was spent under the scheme.
Rebate applicable under the BSPVES
|TYPE OF VEHICLE||ONE WAY TRIP||ROUND TRIP|
|Motor Car||Up to $243||Up to $486|
|Bus||Up to $243||Up to $486|
|Motorhome||Up to $489||Up to $978|
|Eligible passenger vehicle towing a caravan||Up to $489||Up to $978|
|Motorcycle||Up to $125||Up to $250|
|Bicycle||Up to $37||Up to $74|
The rebate is provided to the driver of an eligible passenger vehicle, in the majority of cases, in the form of a reduced fare charged by a service operator. The amount of rebate paid is limited to the service operator's vehicle fare for that particular type of passenger vehicle if the fare is below the applicable rebate shown above.
The service operator is not the recipient of the rebate and is reimbursed on a monthly basis by the Australian Government for the total rebate provided to eligible passengers or persons under the scheme.
Eligible persons with a medical condition are able to access the rebate for eligible passenger vehicles under the BSPVES. To receive a rebate they must 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 passenger vehicle must be carried in the same direction of travel on a Bass Strait service on or about the same day they are travelling by air.
The scheme is also available to eligible persons who have to take a flight between mainland Australia and King Island or the islands of the Furneaux Group due to the absence of a 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 BITRE's latest monitoring report was released in January 2020 and covers the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019 BSPVES monitoring report no.17.
All enquiries concerning eligible passenger vehicle bookings and rebates applied under the scheme should be directed to the relevant ferry operator.
Prospective ferry operators seeking information on BSPVES should contact:
Tasmanian and Shipping Programs Section
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
GPO BOX 594
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Requests for information on service delivery matters should be directed to:
Tasmanian Transport Programs
GPO Box 1269
HOBART TAS 7001
Phone: 13 11 58
Fax: (03) 6211 2719
More information is found at the Services Australia's BSPVES web site.
Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme - Privacy Statement
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department) collects personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) for the purpose of making and reviewing decisions under the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme and the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme.
Personal information collected may be:
- used by the department,
- disclosed to third parties (e.g. other government agencies),
- disclosed when required, or authorised by law, and
- used for another purpose with your consent.
Collected information may be published on the department's website. Published information will be aggregated and will not disclose personal information.
If you have any questions, please contact the Privacy Officer.