The Morrison and Gutwein Governments are supporting construction jobs across Tasmania by jointly investing an additional $46 million to deliver shovel-ready infrastructure projects and urgent road safety upgrades.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said further investment in infrastructure would play a critical role in the Commonwealth’s JobMaker plan and help the Tasmanian economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Partnering with state and territory governments to invest in more major infrastructure projects across Australia is a key part of our JobMaker plan to rebuild our economy and create more jobs,” the Prime Minister said.
“This funding injection means we have brought forward or provided additional funding in excess of $200 million to Tasmania in the past eight months.
“This package builds on the fast tracking of $173 million for infrastructure in Tasmania which we announced last November, locking in priority upgrades that will increase productivity, improve safety and boost jobs at a time we need it most.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the funded projects in Tasmania include a number of road improvements, such as widening, surface work and bridge strengthening.
“The nine funded projects across the state will improve road safety for all users, while also enhancing accessibility and connectivity of the road network,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“$8 million is going towards main road and highway enhancements and another $7.2 million will go towards the widening of Railton Main Road and Richmond Road.”
Premier of Tasmania Peter Gutwein said the investment will create jobs for Tasmanians and save lives on the state’s roads.
“The Tasmanian Government will also invest $11.7 million in these projects, with $7 million going towards selected shovel-ready projects and $4.7 million to road safety improvements,” the Premier said.
“Many of the projects are due to start later this year, creating jobs and boosting the Tasmanian economy once COVID-19 has passed. This initiative complements Tasmania’s job-creating Construction Blitz plan to stimulate the economy and support thousands of jobs across the state.”
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said Tasmanians will benefit from improved road connections right across the state.
“Working with the Tasmanian Government, we are developing heavy vehicle rest areas, installing roadside barriers and upgrading the Huon Highway and Sandfly Road junction,” Mr Tudge said.
“Roads are vital for keeping population centres connected in Tasmania, and this funding package will improve reliability of the network and make sure more people get home sooner and safer.”
Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said the package will particularly improve the safety of school students across Tasmania.
“$3 million will be used to provide electronic signs in school zones across the state, while $6 million will also go to the construction of a pedestrian underpass, with an improved new engineering design including disability access, on the Midland Highway at Campbell Town,” Minister Ferguson said.
“The safety of all road users in the state is a priority, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists or drivers.”
Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck said getting shovels in the ground on local construction projects was crucial in maintaining jobs and economic growth across the state.
“This funding forms part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s record $100 billion dollar pipeline of infrastructure projects which is laying the foundations of a financial bridge to recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Colbeck said.
The jointly funded package is supported by investments from the Morrison ($34.3 million) and Gutwein Governments ($11.7 million).
Commonwealth funding for the package has been drawn from the recently announced $1.5 billion allocation to priority shovel-ready projects and targeted road safety works.
The Morrison Government has now committed nearly $2.9 billion to transport infrastructure in Tasmania.