Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Northern Tasmania spokesperson
The Federal Budget included significant infrastructure funding, with billions of dollars committed for works around the country - but not Tasmania. A glaring omission was funding to fix Launceston’s ailing stormwater and sewerage infrastructure.
The Treasurer and Member for Bass, Peter Gutwein, should’ve been lobbying his Canberra colleagues for a slice of the Federal Budget’s large infrastructure pie. Billions of dollars are going to be spent on projects across Australia, but Launceston’s much needed sewerage and stormwater upgrades haven’t got a cent.
Funds for the proposed University relocation, announced previously, are welcome, but it’s a tertiary level upgrade that ignores Launceston’s primary problem – aging infrastructure, and raw sewage continually contaminating the Tamar River.
The State Liberals have failed to use their position to lobby for the federal funds needed to fix Launceston’s stormwater and sewerage issues. It’s problem that won’t go away, and it’s one the State will now have to pay for.
The spilling sewage flows past Royal Park, the entrance to Cataract Gorge, the Seaport and the soon to be completed North Bank development, all prime tourist areas.
Upgrading Launceston’s ageing stormwater and sewerage system is vital for the future of the City. In the interests of public health and successful tourism - and if Launceston is to become a university city - the State Liberals must explain how they will pay for the infrastructure upgrades.