Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme

The Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme reduces the cost of transporting eligible passenger vehicles across Bass Strait.

About the scheme

Drivers of eligible passenger vehicles can receive a rebate through a reduction in the fare charged by the ferry operator. 

Application for the rebate is not required as it is applied as a direct reduction in the fare charged by the ferry operator, except in special circumstances.

The rebate is for the transport of eligible passenger vehicles northbound, southbound or on a round trip between:

  • Devonport and Melbourne
  • Flinders Island and Port Welshpool
  • Melbourne and King Island - special conditions apply for King Island travel

More information on the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme can be found on the Department of Infrastructure and Transport website.

Eligibility

Passenger vehicles eligible for assistance

To be eligible for assistance a passenger vehicle must be a:

  • motor car, van, utility, 4 wheel drive or station wagon
  • motor home or campervan
  • minibus, coach or bus which seats 8 or more passengers
  • motorcycle
  • bicycle
  • caravan or camper trailer being towed by an eligible passenger vehicle

Passenger vehicles not eligible for assistance

The following passenger vehicles are not eligible for assistance:

  • prime movers
  • vehicles carried on other vehicles or trailers
  • trailers
  • a vehicle charged a freight rate by a service operator that isn't part of a King Island or the Furneaux Group service

Rebate amount

The rebate is applied as a direct reduction in the fare charged by the ferry operator.

In most cases you do not need to claim for a vehicle rebate under the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme. The rebate is given to you through a reduction in the fare charged by the ferry operator.

Amount of rebate

The amount of rebate you receive depends on the type of vehicle you are transporting.

You can find the current rebate amounts on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website.

Claiming

In most cases you do not need to claim your rebate. It is given to you through a reduction in the fare charged by the ferry operator. The rebate will appear as a reduction on your travel documents.

You may have to claim directly from us if:

  • there are exceptional circumstances, or
  • the ferry service is cancelled or suspended, or
  • the ferry operator does not offer the rebate as a reduction in fare, or
  • you are transporting vehicles via the Furneaux Group Additional Assistance (FGAA) or individual charters

If you need to claim directly contact us.

Travel between King Island, the Furneaux Group and mainland Australia

The King Island and the Furneaux Group ferry service does not carry passengers. You may be eligible for a reduced fare if you:

  • transport an eligible passenger vehicle, other than a motorcycle, between King Island, the Furneaux Group and mainland Australia, and
  • travel with a commercial airline in the same direction as your vehicle, on or close to the same day that your vehicle is being transported by sea

For King Island

To claim a rebate for transport between King Island and mainland Australia you must complete a Driver’s Declaration form.

You do not need to apply for the rebate. You will receive a reduction in the fare charged by the ferry operator.

For the Furneaux Group

You will need to submit a claim for reimbursement and provide us with a:

  • copy of the consignment note from the shipping service
  • receipt for freight payment
  • copy of an airline ticket or boarding pass

Motorcycles

To claim a rebate for transporting a motorcycle between King Island and mainland Australia you must complete a claim for reimbursement - motorcycle form.

Send it to the address on the form. The rebate will be paid directly into your nominated back account.

Exceptional circumstances

The rebate may be paid to eligible passengers in exceptional circumstances.

If you are not able to travel by sea on the same vessel as your eligible passenger vehicle you may get a reduction in your fare. This could be because:

  • a medical condition prevents you from accompanying your vehicle, or
  • the ferry service is cancelled or suspended due to mechanical failure, poor weather or for maintenance

Exceptional circumstances do not apply to King Island travellers as this service does not carry passengers.

Claiming a medical condition

If you cannot travel with your vehicle due to a medical condition you must provide the ferry service operator with:

  • a copy of your medical certificate, explaining your medical condition, and
  • flight booking details, including the flight number and date for each flight, you must travel with a commercial airline on or around the same day your vehicle is transported by sea

Claiming a rebate due to cancellation or suspension of ferry services

If you cannot accompany your vehicle by sea due to the cancellation or suspension of ferry services, you may claim the rebate directly from us by providing: 

  • a written statement demonstrating that the circumstances surrounding your need to fly could not have been foreseen and travel at this time was unavoidable
  • a copy of the shipping line's consignment note for your vehicle
  • a copy of your airline ticket or boarding pass for each flight
  • your postal address and bank details for payment of the rebate

Your claim should be addressed to:

Team Leader
Tasmanian Transport Schemes
GPO Box 1269
HOBART 7001

Resources

Read more about the Scheme which operates under instructions issued by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Contact us

If you need assistance or help with your claim you can contact us.

Page last updated: 23 February 2016

This information was printed Monday 2 May 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/business/services/centrelink/bass-strait-passenger-vehicle-equalisation-scheme It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.