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Infrastructure stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Infrastructure sector:

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. This follows other recent acquisitions including the Fountainside Hotel on Brooker Avenue, and the Midcity Hotel on the corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst Streets. Both these properties will be converted into student accommodation, as the rental squeeze continues to bite. UTAS has also secured funding to underwrite a new complex of about 430 beds, valued at around $70 million, at 40 Melville Street opposite the University’s Hobart Apartments building.

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

Mac Point moves forward

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The way forward for Hobart’s Macquarie Point – including possible residential development and the removal of the sewage treatment plant – will be laid on the table when legislation is introduced into parliament shortly.

14 October 2018, Edition 199

Berth at TasPorts for new boss

TasPorts CEO, Paul Weedon, is to retire this month. After working for the Sydney Ports Corporation, he was appointed to the top job in 2009. Mr Weedon has overseen major upgrading at Tasmania’s ports during his watch, including the delivery of the $200 million Port Master Plan. Infrastructure Minister, Jeremy Rockliff told The Examiner: “Mr Weedon oversaw the modernisation of TasPorts’ entire fleet and accelerated the successful integration of Tasmania’s four port companies into a single, high functioning state-wide company.” TasPorts' Chief Operating Officer, Anthony Donald, will step into the top job, while the search is on for Mr Weedon’s replacement. 

12 September 2018, Edition 198

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 203

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Brand Tasmania is about to enter an exciting new era as a statutory authority. Please enjoy your March newsletter.

22 March 2019, Edition 203

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