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Macquarie Point - Removal of Freight Rail Line

Parliamentary Activity - Tuesday, 17 October 2017, Cassy O'Connor MP


Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for INFRASTRUCTURE, Mr HIDDING

Can you explain why a decision was made to rip up a significant section of the Hobart rail line at Macquarie Point?  Why is your Government so apparently anti-light rail to the extent you rarely speak of it, have made no submission to the federal government to fund it, and are now ripping up rail tracks in Hobart?  Were you informed of the removal of these tracks before they were pulled up, or is it the case, as it seems today, that you were the last to know?

 

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I will give the same answer as I did before.  These rail lines are the property of the Macquarie Point Development Corporation and I am advised the lines they removed were shunting lines for heavy freight that were not required.  The only reason you would keep them would be if you were having heavy freight coming back to the port, which we are not. 

The question that was put to us about light rail is frankly ridiculous, given that last Friday I was with the Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, at two or three locations not far from your office.  We were at Glenorchy and he was most impressed with the opportunity to continue discussions on light rail for the northern suburbs. 

Ms O'Connor - When did you become aware?

Mr HIDDING - I became aware through media reports that some rail had been lifted up.  I asked questions of TasPorts and the Macquarie Point Development Corporation and was informed that these are shunting lines and not required for light rail.