The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, welcomed today’s release of the Legislative Council Government Administration Committee B’s report on sustainable public transport in Southern Tasmania.
Mr Wilkie said the report demonstrated the flaws in the State Government’s approach to the Hobart northern suburbs light rail project.
“The report clearly shows that the current proposal to have light rail service only between Hobart and Glenorchy is madness. It is self-evident that light rail should be extended to service MONA, the Austins Ferry-Granton growth corridor and through to Brighton,” Mr Wilkie said.
“The report also suggests that the project has suffered from ongoing mismanagement between State Government agencies and a refusal to consult with the broader community.
“This kind of project requires leadership and strategic vision for Hobart and Tasmania, something the State Government appears simply unable to deliver.
“The State Government needs to understand that an integrated light rail service to Hobart’s northern suburbs would spark real urban renewal with positive economic, social and environmental impacts beyond what can be recognised by a restricted cost-benefit analysis.
“I agree with the report that the current business case should be withdrawn due to its narrow scope so that the project can be comprehensively reassessed. Crucially, any new business case must adopt a genuine triple bottom line approach to consider the diverse community benefits from light rail.
“It’s ultimately very disappointing that light rail has been the victim of ongoing State Government incompetence. This project makes sense on every level and serious planning and construction should have begun years ago.”
• James Crotty, in Comments: This is one project we should get excited about. The benefits of an integrated light rail service will be long-lasting and profound. This could be the beginning of something good. Get in touch with your local, state and federal pollies and get behind the proposal. Light rail works elsewhere, it will work here.