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Infrastructure stories

The following stories relate toTasmania’s Infrastructure sector:

Derwent transport boost

Edition 195_Bridgewater

Hobart’s much-loved River Derwent is in the spotlight with two major transport projects – a new bridge and commuter ferries – getting the go-ahead.

12 June 2018, Edition 195

Launceston airport turns twenty

Launceston Airport has celebrated its 20th anniversary – of privatisation – and during that time it has gone from strength to strength. It now welcomes 1.3 million passengers every year, which is approximately one third of all passengers in and out of Tasmania. This is a sharp rise on the 544,000 people who went through its doors when the lease was acquired by Australia Pacific Airports Corporation in 1998. Airport General Manager, Paul Hodgen, said: “Privatisation has opened up a wide range of opportunities for Launceston enabling the growth and expansion required to bring the airport in line with the needs of the state.” Major milestones include: $21 million spent on the terminal redevelopment in 2009 and $11 million invested in runway surface improvements in 2015. Launceston airport is now one of the main economic and employment hubs in northern Tasmania. It supports more than 400 jobs and has some 30 businesses operating within its precinct.

12 June 2018, Edition 195

$700m Bass Strait Ferries Coup

Edition 194_GraingerFuchsTT

A landmark $700 million deal has been signed for two new Bass Strait ferries in Tasmania’s ‘biggest ever infrastructure investment’.

7 May 2018, Edition 194

$100m bridge promise

A new bridge across the Derwent River at Bridgewater is a key priority for Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Mr Shorten promised that Labor would contribute $100m towards a replacement for the Bridgewater Bridge if it won at the next federal election. The cost of replacing the current 72 year old bridge is expected to exceed half a billion dollars. Mr Shorten said, “the Bridgewater Bridge is a key component of the Midland Highway, a critical freight and transport link for passengers travelling between Hobart and Launceston. The new bridge will create local jobs and improve safety and efficiency of freight and passenger movement in the state.” Mr Shorten also said, “the Liberals have had five years to get this project under way but have done nothing.” However, Tasmanian Infrastructure minister Jeremy Rockliff shot back saying: “Under Mr Shorten’s plan, we’d get less than a quarter of a bridge.” The Minister added he was confident the Federal Government would be providing adequate funding for the $576 million project. A recent infrastructure report rated a new crossing at Bridgewater as a high priority project that should be built within the next decade. Calls for a replacement bridge go back decades with the current causeway crossing viewed as an inadequate section of Tasmania’s main highway.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

Myer revival excites Hobart

After it was destroyed by fire more than a decade ago, Hobart’s Myer is fully back-in-business with thousands flocking into the CBD for the store’s long awaited expansion on April 19. This second stage of the Myer re-development greatly increased the current store size. It is now operating at full-capacity and covers an impressive 12,500sqm over five levels. The expanded store has also attracted new brands including high profile names such as Calvin Klein, Pilgrim and Peter Alexander. The first stage of the Myer re-development was completed in November 2015, and Acting Premier Jeremy Rockliff said it “breathed life back into Hobart’s CBD.” Myer has been trading in Hobart since 1936, but the massive blaze which gutted the store in 2007 was also devastating for city retailers with shoppers deserting the city. However, a number of recent developments, such as the Cat and Fiddle upgrade, have led a CBD revival. As Mr Rockliff said: “Tasmania’s retail sector is booming, growing for 40 consecutive months and helping to create new jobs. Myer’s new building will add to that and will not only be a major drawcard to Hobart’s CBD; it will support and increase jobs.” Sixty new staff have been added to the current 250-strong workforce at Hobart’s Myer store.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

$50m apartment boost

Plans for a 450-bed apartment complex in Hobart’s CBD have been unveiled by The University of Tasmania (UTAS), a welcome boost to the housing shortage. The project will cost $50 million and UTAS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rufus Black, said it was part of the university’s on-going commitment to provide infrastructure supporting student needs: “Our offering to students – both domestic and international – is of the highest standard. This project will ensure we maintain those standards as our growth in numbers continues.” These apartments will take some of the sting out of Hobart’s housing shortage, with Professor Black saying they will also re-house 200 students currently living in overcrowded and unsuitable housing. “Hobart’s growing pains are the result of positive things: more people wanting to come here to live, study and visit,” Professor Black said. “We think with the right ideas and approaches these challenges will be overcome.” The project was launched by Premier Will Hodgman who said: “Our state is facing increased demand for affordable housing options, including for the many people who are choosing to further their studies here.” The Premier added the announcement is also good news for students in the north and north-west who are considering university in Hobart and need somewhere to live. The apartments are expected to be completed within two years.

11 April 2018, Edition 193

Spirit of Tasmania turns 20

The Spirit of Tasmania ferries – which have carried more than six million people across Bass Strait – have celebrated their 20th birthday. The twin ferries were built in Finland in 1998 and began the Bass Strait run four years later. During that time they have each clocked up more than 6000 round trips carrying 6.3 million passengers, 2.7 million vehicles and 1.3 million shipping containers. TT-Line Chief Executive, Bernard Dwyer, told The Advocate that these numbers demonstrated the enormous value of the service to both tourism and the broader Tasmanian economy: “They are also a demonstration of our long-standing achievement in delivering a safe and reliable passenger, vehicle and freight service.” However, days on the Bass Strait are numbered for these iconic red-and-white ships. Spirit of Tasmania I and II will be replaced by two custom-built ships in 2021, with TT-Line signing a letter of intent with a German shipbuilder.

11 April 2018, Edition 193

Infrastructure priorities identified

Tasmania’s most urgently needed infrastructure projects have been identified in a new report. The Infrastructure Australia report identified the five top priority projects needed to cope with future growth. Topping the list is a second electricity cable across Bass Strait. Calls for another cable erupted in 2015 when the Basslink cable failed, plunging Tasmania into an electricity crisis. At an estimated cost of $1 billion, a second cable would also carry electricity between Tasmania and Victoria and secure our future energy needs. Other priority projects identified in the report include:

  • The STEM facility in Hobart’s CBD which would combine the University of Tasmania’s faculties of Science, Engineering and Technology;
  • A new bridge over the River Derwent to replace the antiquated Bridgewater Bridge;
  • A Burnie-to-Hobart road and rail freight corridor; and
  • Sewerage upgrades across the state.

The Infrastructure Australia report identified $55 billion worth of priority projects needed across the country over the next 15 years. 

11 April 2018, Edition 193

Tasmanians return the Hodgman Liberal Government and a historic female majority parliament

Edition 192_Hodgman

Tasmanians voted for continuity in the 3 March State election, returning Will Hodgman for a second term as Premier.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Home buyers spend $3.8b

Edition 192_House

Tasmania's housing market achieved record sales totalling $3.879 billion in 2017.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 195

Edition 195_Attenborough

Leading the June edition of Tasmania’s Stories Sir David Attenborough showcases Tasmania to the world in a stunning new documentary. Please enjoy your June newsletter.

15 June 2018, Edition 195

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