‘Capital city must not be forgotten’

Mayors from Southern Tasmania’s three largest cities are concerned both major political parties are ignoring urgent road funding needs in the South.

With the Federal election just weeks away, Lord Mayor Ald Rob Valentine, Mayor of Clarence Ald Jock Campbell and Mayor of Glenorchy Ald Adriana Taylor have urged the Federal Government and Labor Opposition to commit to the urgently needed upgrades to Hobart’s northern approaches and expanding the AusLink Network to include the Brooker and Tasman Highways.

Chair of the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority, Ald Rob Valentine said the region welcomed commitments by the Federal Government to fully fund the Kingston Bypass, but there were other priority road projects in Southern Tasmania needing urgent attention.

‘Nearly 6-months ago, the 12 councils in Southern Tasmanian identified the northern approaches to Hobart, along with the expansion of the AusLink Transport Network to include the Brooker and Tasman Highways, as priorities for Southern Tasmania,’ Ald Valentine said.

These roads are critically important for traffic flow for the whole southern region which includes the electorates of Franklin, Denison and the southern part of Lyons.

‘Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania and the international gateway to the Antarctic region and it is therefore imperative that both major parties recognise how important these projects are to the Nation.’

‘The international connection to the Antarctic should be given the status it deserves given that up to seven Nations use the port in one way or another in connection with their Antarctic related activity.’

Criteria met
Clarence Mayor, Ald Jock Campbell said that extending the National AusLink Transport Network from Granton to include the Brooker Highway into Hobart and the Tasman Highway to the Hobart International Airport, met the criteria for Auslink funding.

‘If accepted as part of the AusLink Network they would become eligible for consideration by the Commonwealth for funding,’ Ald Campbell said.

‘In every other Australian Capital City, the AusLink Network extends to the City’s airport and port, and qualify for Commonwealth funding to maintain a first-class transport network for both passenger and freight vehicles.

‘In Hobart the AusLink Network stops at Granton, leaving it to the State Government to maintain two of the busiest and most important roads in Tasmania.

‘The Brooker and Tasman Highways should rightly be the joint responsibility of the Australian and Tasmanian Governments through AusLink given their importance to the Nation, both now and into the future, providing strategic international connections to Australia.’

Expansion needed
Glenorchy Mayor, Ald Adriana Taylor said while she and other Southern Mayors were confident that both major parties would announce funding to improve Hobart’s northern approaches, including the proposed Brighton Bypass, it is also very important they commit to expanding the AusLink network.

‘These Highways provide the main arterial link through our region and are critically important not only to our local economy and community but the Nation in terms of general transport and international connections for freight.’
 
‘It is also likely that both Highways will require a major upgrade in the future to ensure they have the capacity for the expected growth in daily passenger and freight vehicle movements.’

‘It’s time for the buck-passing to end. We expect that both parties acknowledge the urgent infrastructure needs of Southern Tasmania and will announce their positions accordingly,’ Ald Taylor said.