Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme

The Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES) reduces the cost of sending eligible passenger transport across Bass Strait.

About the scheme

Drivers of eligible passenger transport get a reduced fare from ferry service operators. The Australian Government reimburses ferry service operators. There is no need to apply for the reduced fare.

The reduced fare applies to travel north and south between:

  • Devonport and Melbourne
  • Flinders Island and Port Welshpool
  • King Island and Port Welshpool
  • Melbourne and King Island
  • Geelong and King Island.

You can read more about the scheme on the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRDC) website.

Rebate amount

The amount depends on the type of transport you send. For all locations, except to and from King Island, you don’t need to make a claim. The ferry service operator gives you the rebate as a reduction in your fare.

You need to claim when travelling to and from King Island. Read about how to claim.

DIRDC list the rebate amounts on their website. They review the rebate amounts each year.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the rebate you must travel with your eligible transport.

Eligible transport includes a:

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

Transport that is not eligible includes:

  • trailer
  • prime mover
  • transport carried on other transport or trailers.

Claiming

If you think we haven’t given you the rebate, please contact our Transport and freight services team. Then you can claim it from us.

King Island

Transport

The King Island ferry service does not carry passengers. If you send eligible transport by ferry, you can claim the rebate if you travel:

  • on a direct flight between King Island and the mainland
  • on or about the same day their transport is being ferried.

You get the rebate for a one-way journey. The DIRDC considers a return journey as a separate journey.

To claim the rebate complete a King Island Driver’s Declaration form. You can get the form from the ferry operator. You’ll need to complete a separate form for each journey.

Motorcycles

The ferry service to and from King Island doesn’t carry motorcycles. You have to send motorcycles as freight.

After you’ve sent your motorcycle, submit a completed King Island - Claim for reimbursement - motorcycle form.

The Furneaux Group

If you send eligible transport by ferry, you can claim the rebate if you travel:

  • on a direct commercial flight between the Furneaux Group and the Australian mainland
  • on or about the same day their transport is being ferried.

To claim the rebate to or from the Furneaux Group you’ll need to write to us. Please provide all of the following:

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

Special circumstances

Cancelled or suspended ferry services

If a ferry service doesn’t sail, you need to tell us. Please write to us explaining why you had to fly and the reason it was unavoidable.

You’ll also need to send us all of the following:

  • a copy of your transport’s shipping consignment note
  • your airline ticket or boarding pass for each flight
  • your postal address and bank details so we can pay you.

Medical condition

You can still claim the rebate if you can’t travel with your transport due to a medical condition. So long as you travel on or around the same day you send your transport.

To claim the rebate you must give the ferry service operator all of the following:

  • a copy of your medical certificate
  • your flight booking details including flight numbers and dates.

We pay the rebate into your bank account.

Resources

You can read more about the scheme on the DIRDC website.

If you need help with your claim you can contact our Transport and freight services team.

Page last updated: 8 October 2018