Premier Peter Gutwein and State Growth Minister Michael Ferguson need to tell Tasmanians this week when they will start work on Hobart’s crucially needed northern suburbs light rail or admit they have broken yet another promise.
Member for Derwent Craig Farrell said more than two years since their colleagues in Canberra had provided $25 million in the Hobart City Deal toward the Northern Suburbs Transit Corridor, Mr Ferguson and Mr Gutwein had not spent a cent.
“The State and Federal Governments agreed in 2018 to accelerate a City Deal for Hobart with a commitment to pull out all stops to get the northern suburbs passenger rail built within five years,” Mr Farrell said.
“Two years later and the Premier and his Minister have failed to release any plans on how to combat the city’s growing traffic chaos and given no explanation for why they have broken such an important promise.
“If Michael Ferguson has a plan – a definitive, concrete plan – he should release it now.
“Tasmanians battling through unprecedented traffic congestion each morning and each afternoon are tired of hearing Mr Ferguson’s weasel words about planning to release a plan and then utterly failing to deliver.
“Where is the $25 million from the Federal Government? How is it going to be spent? Why has there been an utter failure around delivering anything on this much-needed rail corridor?
“I challenge Mr Ferguson to tell motorists stuck in traffic every day what he is going to deliver to take cars off the roads and improve public transport.”
Elwick MLC Josh Willie said all Mr Ferguson had to show for his efforts on the rail corridor was a consultant’s report which proved to be a non-committal disappointment.
“This project will unlock jobs, housing and business development at a time when it is needed most,” Mr Willie said.
“It will provide Tasmanians with better access to crucial services like health and education and significantly assist in the state’s COVID 19 recovery.
“Mr Ferguson talks a lot about Tasmania building its way out of COVID but in reality, his talk just amounts to nothing. He must either outline the plan and deliver or admit he has failed yet again.
“No more stalling – this is a game changer for the northern suburbs and Greater Hobart and Tasmanians want answers.”
Craig Farrell MLC
Member for Derwent
Josh Willie MLC
Member for Elwick