Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Making the National Sea Highway more effective …

Since the original National Sea Highway Committee NSHC ended its work some years ago there continue to be a number individuals and independent groups, some started by the writer, that are interested in Bass Strait equalisation.

All now are not directly connected with the writer or with members of the former NSHC, but nevertheless propose making the National Sea Highway more effective by suggesting types of vessels, use of particular routes and further studies.

It seems important that the history of the Bass Strait campaign, including research undertaken and government responses given, and the nature of the on going private lobby in Canberra by the writer and others, be better known and advanced before concentrating on the choice of vessels and or routes.

Canberra could do well to examine and release documents it has in this regard. Such an approach may reduce the unnecessary duplication of argument and save the cost of further federally funded research.

Download submission to the Senate committee …


EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

Peter Brohier’s Peter Brohier’s letter to Tony Abbott. All Peter Brohier articles on TT

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Gordon Bradbury

    August 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    One solution that seems bleedingly obvious to me is that all Bass Strait ferries should be operated by the Federal [not State] Government and/or its contractors, with the sole objective of making crossing Bass Strait cost no more than driving an equivalent distance of bitumen National Highway. Only then will Tasmania really join the Commonwealth.
    Once the Commonwealth Government is in charge of the operation (with equity, clarity and transparency) then we will see real improvement.

  2. Richard Kopf

    August 30, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I too, have attempted to convince politicians, of both persuasions, of the value of providing a Sea Road to Tasmania. The argument against seems to be, the cost of providing a further “subsidy” to Tasmania. A State that performs, under any criteria, the worst in the nation.

    Personally, I believe that a reason that is never given is: “we like to be isolated and don’t want “bloody Mainlanders” running our affairs.”

    Why we are the worst performers!
    Tasmania is a region of 515,000 people, about 2.5% of the whole of the population of Australia. 515,000 people dispersed over an island, about the size of Ireland, largely isolated from the remaining population of Australia. Tasmania has the most regional and dispersed population of any state in Australia. We need better communication links.

    We are never compared with like. There is a huge differential in performance between our major capital cities and their respective hinterlands. Why not kick the bum of Ballarat, most of country South Australia, Townsville, or anywhere north of Burpengarry and so the list of under forming towns goes on. They are supported by their Capital’s wealth, either directly, or by overseas investment in extraction industries.

    Tasmania is compared with NSW, Vic, and so on, because it is a sovereign State. Separate the Ballarat/ Bendigo region from Victoria, (similar population) put a 200km ditch around it and not provide proper access, reduce its funding, reduce Government employment in this new region, pay everyone at lower rates than the rest of Australia, then compare the resulting economy with the rest of Australia. See how poorly our, hypothetical, new region would stack up against Tasmania!

    Tassie is not a basket case, given the constraints that exist here. Bass Strait is our major constraint.

    Spend the sort of money that is spent on interstate roads on the mainland, on the ferries and most of Tassie’s woes will be resolved.

    One example of many, the Commonwealth is providing up to $6.7 billion through its Fix the Bruce Highway Policy over 10 years, to 2022-23.

    Of Queensland’s 4.05 m population, 3.05m, all but 1.0m, live in the South East. Less than half of that million are served by the Bruce Highway. The Bruce Highway, therefore, services a population similar to that of Tasmania. That population has an existing highway, Tasmania has none. They have trains running parallel to the road, Tasmania has none.

    $6.7bn over 10 years would do wonders for Bass Strait Shipping. Treating Bass Strait as a National Highway means that Tasmania should get a fair share of road funding, not a subsidy, equivalent to its population size.

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