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Light rail ... a la Houston

Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, calls on the Government and Opposition to commit to fund the Hobart Northern Suburbs Light Railway

Speaker Denison is long and narrow, its spine the railway line which has been there many decades but which is soon to fall derelict when the Hobart rail-yards close and the few freight trains still using the line terminate before the electorate.

Now on the face of it the new transport hub north of Hobart which makes the closure of the suburban line possible should be a good thing. But the reality is that it isn’t, if only because the freight will now be loaded on to trucks that will add greatly to the congestion on the Brooker Highway.

Even more alarming is that the line will quickly deteriorate and the corridor soon disappear, even though it’s the obvious route for a light rail system which would take the pressure off the road network, kick-start an urban renewal and connect the communities and facilities along the length of the electorate in a clean and affordable manner.

Speaker this project was one of 20 priorities I took to Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott after the 2010 election. They know it’s important and I call on them to commit to the project if they win the election. And if the Government wants to announce funding sooner to help them win my seat that’d be well and good, just so long as we get the job done.

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