Mayors unite for Southern Project

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All members of the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority have united in a campaign for an exciting $32 million plan to help solve public transport problems in the region.

The plan aims to build an integrated network linking buses, cross-Derwent ferries, cycleways, satellite transport hubs and regional roads to reduce congestion, improve road safety and make public transport more efficient, safe and convenient for commuters.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign today, chairman of the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority, Alderman Rob Valentine said the time was ripe for investment by the Australian Government in this much-needed project.

This project ticks all of the right boxes for sustainable living and has many of the components earmarked in strategic documents of both local and State Governments.

“We are asking for a solid commitment from political parties and candidates for Denison, Franklin and Lyons to deliver this project for the region” Alderman Valentine said.

“It is patently obvious we must work together in a good strategic manner on this and the Australian Government needs to be a key financial partner in helping to deliver the solution during this term of government.

Alderman Valentine said councils have done significant components of the spade work and are now asking for that to be rewarded by genuine commitment from all political parties and candidates in Denison, Franklin and Lyons in the upcoming election.

“The STCA is writing to all political parties and candidates in the three electorates seeking a commitment to back the scheme ahead of the Federal election on 21st August. Here is an opportunity for the major parties to do something practical and immediate to reduce green house gases, build a sustainable transport system, address transport disadvantage, encourage the take up of alternative means of transport and assist regional economic growth,” he said.

The STCA plan will see:

New ferry terminals to encourage the return of regular cross-river and tourist ferry services linked to the Metro bus service;
Modern comfortable, safe and convenient Bus interchanges at Huonville, Kingston, Sorell, Brighton and New Norfolk for “park and ride” commuters;
New cycleways linking existing tracks with bus and ferry terminals;
Assistance to develop local community transport strategies in regional areas.

Additionally, the 12 Mayors want all parties to commit $109 million to fund key local roads to benefit regional economies, promote tourism and save lives.

“This might sound like a lot but funding for all these roads has been tossed around for years and is long overdue” Alderman Valentine said.

Alderman Valentine said the aim of the campaign was to secure greater Australian Government funding for infrastructure and to secure firm commitments by all parties ahead of the election.

He said the package was based on and consistent with a large body of work by southern councils and the State Government over recent years.

This included the Kangaroo Bay Urban Design Strategy, the Kingborough Integrated Transport Plan, the Hobart City Council Sustainable Transport Strategy, the Regional Land Use Planning Project, the draft Southern Tasmanian Integrated Transport Plan, and the State Government’s Urban Passenger Transport Framework.

Alderman Valentine said the package was also generally consistent with Australian Government infrastructure programs and policy objectives under which funding should be made available for Southern Tasmania.

For further comment and to arrange interviews, please call: Ald Rob Valentine on 0418 127323