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Infrastructure stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Infrastructure sector:

$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

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

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

$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

Vos asks $60m for MACq 01

Developer Vos Group has placed the landmark waterfront hotel MACq 01 on the market with a $60 million price tag. The shed-style building, which includes the Federal Group's hotel and six prime retail tenancies, opened six months ago. The selling agent, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, has conducted a roadshow through Asia and said the offering was well-received by potential investors. A spokesperson, Peter Harper, told The Mercury: “People understand the dynamics of the Tasmanian economy now and are quite bullish about the long-term outlook off the back of inbound tourism and marketing.” MACq 01 is one of Australia’s newest 4.5-star luxury hotels with few peers nationwide. Mr Harper said traditional investors and new entrants to the market would be drawn to the asset’s attributes and secure income profile based on a long-term lease to Federal Group and other quality tenancies. Vos is in the final stages of marketing the last remaining commercial tenancy in Macquarie Wharf 01, a 379 sq m site with expansive water frontage. Director, Darren Vos, said the sale of MACq 01 would allow his company to focus on other property-development projects. The asking price of $60 million would comfortably exceed the previous record for a commercial property in Hobart.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Airport predicts 3m pax a year

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Hobart International Airport had the busiest day in its history on Boxing Day and is expecting three million passengers a year by 2022.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Home buyers spend $3.8b

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

8 March 2018, Edition 192

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

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

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Island gets renewables hub

Flinders Island has switched on a $13.38 million wind and solar hub which will supply on average 60 per cent of the island's power. Renewable supply could rise to 100 per cent when the weather is right. 

8 February 2018, Edition 191

National fillip for marine sector

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Tasmania's maritime engineering capability has been given valuable national exposure following a Brand Tasmania-backed visit to the State by magazine editor and specialist writer Simon Enticknap.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

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