Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens' Leader and Transport spokesperson
Students headed back to school today, resulting in Hobart's streets once again being clogged with cars. Almost a year has passed since the heavy congestion and traffic chaos which led to the government-commissioned Midson report.
The Liberal Government has ignored Hobart's traffic problems for too long. Aside from their initial systems review, the government have done nothing for a year. Only now have they tinkered around the edges, clearly in the hope locals will think they're actually doing something.
Despite Minister Hidding claiming that improving the uptake of public transport is a key measure, it has taken him almost year to announce a tokenistic three week bus trial. The Metro trial seems to have been pulled from thin air, with no articulated evidence or logic behind it.
It is disappointing one year on the government has only acted on a few relatively simple decisions, with many more recommendations yet to be approved.
There is still no actual plan to remove cars from the roads and make the capital city more bus, bike and pedestrian friendly.
Measures have only just been approved, which should have been completed some time ago, and a properly articulated and comprehensive public transport plan should be in place by now.
Hobart residents have heard nothing about the vast majority of the report’s recommendations. It is unacceptable that it has taken so long for minor elements of the plan to get government approval.
It also appears as though the left hand is not talking to the right. While Minister Hidding claims to be fixing Hobart's traffic woes, his colleague, Minister Barnett, is seeking make them worse by adding at least two extra log truck movements an hour with his plan to ship logs from Macquarie Wharf.
The government has also dismissed any major infrastructure changes. A real traffic management plan should include more investment in sustainable and active transport, like light rail and more bike lanes.
Nothing seems to have changed in a year, Hobart's streets are still one traffic disruption away from gridlock. People living and working in Hobart should expect to be able travel through the city centre, getting to and from work, without being stuck in chronic traffic congestion.