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Infrastructure stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Infrastructure sector:

Hobart’s transport vision

A bold 30-year plan which presents an exciting blueprint for transport in Hobart, has been unveiled. The RACT vision focuses on a shift from a city dependent on cars, to one that embraces public and active transport. Cross River Ferry services are a central core feature, as are park-and-ride stations. It also encourages cyclists with the removal of on-street parking to allow for upgraded cycleways. Hi-tech is also a feature with self-drive cars, and traffic lights that ‘communicate’ with motor vehicle flow. It is forecast to cost $1.6 billion if fully implemented. RACT Chief Executive, Harvey Lennon, said it has the potential to change Hobart forever. He told The Mercury: “This vision details a range of action items staged across the next 30 years providing a responsive holistic solution that embraces new technology and creates a people-focused accessible city for all to enjoy.”

23 April 2019, Edition 204

Airport plan an export boost

A $100 million upgrade of Hobart airport, which was unveiled earlier this month, is another step forward in the plan to bring international flights into the Tasmanian capital. The upgrade, which is scheduled to be completed by 2020, includes customs and immigration facilities to handle overseas flights. These would provide Tasmanian exporters – especially growers of premium fruit and vegetables – with an invaluable direct link to overseas markets. The Federal Government allocated $38 million last year for Hobart’s runway to be extended for international carriers. The passenger terminal is also in line for a major overhaul and a doubling in size. Plans include an expanded departure lounge, improved passenger screening facilities, and a new mezzanine level at the southern end which would house the airline lounges. Hobart airport has just had its busiest year, with a record 2.6 million passengers through the gates, and that number is expected to reach 4 million by 2030.

23 April 2019, Edition 204

City Deal signed and sealed

The ink is dry on Hobart’s much anticipated City Deal and upgrading the city’s airport into an international gateway is at its heart. The $1.43 billion, 10-year commitment, which promises to transform Tasmania’s capital, was signed late last month by Prime Minister Scott Morrison who said: “The City Deal will open the city and Tasmania up for locals and for the world … [It’s] about driving investment into the city to make it an even better place to live and work, but also to drive benefits well beyond Hobart for all Tasmanians, whether in the north or the south, especially through the investment in the airport.” The City Deal allocates $82 million to upgrade the status of Hobart’s airport from domestic to international, with funds for the provision of border services, customs and bio-security. This comes on the back of a record run for the airport, with December 2018 figures reporting an unprecedented 2.6 million passengers over 12 months. Other key initiatives include: $461 million for the new Bridgewater Bridge; $450 million for Antarctic research; $30 million for affordable housing; and $25 million for the Northern Suburbs Transit Corridor Project.

19 March 2019, Edition 203

Bass Strait shipping boost

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Tasmania’s export boom has spurred a Bass Strait freight boost, which includes the launching of Australia’s largest cargo ship.

19 March 2019, Edition 203

Priority for Bass Strait interconnector

Infrastructure Australia has released its 2019 Priority List, and six Tasmanian projects have made the cut, which The Mercury Editorial described as a ‘good news story’. With memories of the 2016 Tasmanian energy crisis fresh in minds, a second Bass Strait interconnector has understandably been given priority status. Tasmanian Energy Minister, Guy Barnett said: “The inclusion of the second Bass Strait electricity interconnector is an acknowledgment of the significant role Tasmania has to play in the national electricity grid.” Speaking at a business leaders' lunch last week, Tasmania Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief, Michael Bailey added: “If we can get this interconnector up, we will see a number of major wind projects doubling in size.” Other projects to make the priority list include The University of Tasmania’s $400 million STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Centre in Hobart’s CBD, the new Bridgewater bridge, along with irrigation, rail and sewerage upgrades. 

18 February 2019, Edition 202

University expands property portfolio

The University of Tasmania (UTAS) continues to snap up Hobart’s city buildings as it progresses with plans to locate more of its activities in the CBD. The latest purchase is the former Forestry Tasmania building in Melville Street.

14 February 2019

What a year!

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It’s been a great year for Tasmania. David Attenborough showcased our stunning island to a global audience of millions, a deal was struck for new Bass Strait ferries, while our whisky and wine shone on the world stage… and that’s just the start.

11 December 2018, Edition 201

Pier sale helps Mac Point

The Tasmanian Government has announced it will be selling the Elizabeth Street Pier to help fund its Macquarie Point vision. Central to this is the relocation of the wastewater treatment plant from the area. The Elizabeth Street Pier is 91 per cent owned by the State Government and includes serviced apartments, a conference centre and hospitality venues on Hobart’s waterfront. Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, says he expects the sale will attract strong interest, adding the market will determine the price. The Treasurer stresses that ownership of the Elizabeth Street Pier is not part of core Government business and “proceeds of its sale will be utilized to underpin investment in other public assets that will benefit all Tasmanians.” The wharf area and apron will remain in public ownership.

7 December 2018, Edition 201

Irrigation milestone with Dalness Dam

Another major milestone has been reached in Tasmania’s ambitious irrigation program. Construction of the 5,200-megalitre Dalness Dam is now complete, ensuring water will flow from the new North Esk Irrigation Scheme in the New Year. This is one of five Tranche Two irrigation schemes which has created more than 28,000 megalitres of new water and involved a $160 million investment by the State and Federal Governments. Tasmania’s future irrigation plans – the Pipeline to Prosperity –includes another 10 potential irrigation schemes costing around $496 million. This Tranche Three proposal has recently been submitted to infrastructure Australia. Tasmanian Primary Industries and Water Minister, Guy Barnett said: “Providing more water resources allows farmers to not only invest in higher value crops and improve farm productivity, but also provides water certainty at critical growth times, and mitigates against dry seasons.”

7 December 2018, Edition 201

Hobart’s traffic vision

Traffic is at the core of liveability; and Tasmania’s peak motoring body is partnering with the University of Tasmania to create a 30-year vision for Greater Hobart. The RACT is seeking submissions for a comprehensive traffic plan covering 2020-2050. It wants a coordinated plan to manage traffic movements in Hobart. RACT Chief Executive, Harvey Lennon, told The Mercury that traffic congestion must be tackled as population and visitor numbers increase: “As our population continues to grow, we need a long-term vision that takes into account social, economic, infrastructure, urban planning also public and active transport opportunities and initiatives.” He explained one single plan is critical to address long-term problems: “No matter how big or how small the idea, we want to hear it. We believe the answer is out there, but we need to collect and combine the ideas of many into one vision, which we can then lobby for on behalf of all Tasmanians.”

14 October 2018, Edition 199

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