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Traffic Congestion in Hobart

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Tags: Traffic Congestion

Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, the Greens are quite comfortable supporting this motion. It contains a series of facts about traffic congestion in and around nipaluna/Hobart and the inordinate delays of this Government and this minister in delivering meaningful and modern transport solutions to ease congestion in and around our beautiful capital city. To me, it comes from a lack of commitment to dealing with the issue and a lack of vision about what might be possible. Because so much of what we have been listening to on the stadium is coming from ministers and members who do not live in this city, it reminds me that this minister does not live in, or understand, or have any particular concern about our city.

First of all, parliament should be aware that Metro Tasmania today, just today, in Hobart, has cancelled 76 bus services. That is about the number that are being cancelled every single day on this minister's watch and it is not getting better. That is a damning indictment of this minister, who has never been a big believer in public transport. He is passionately attached to roads and concrete. The fact they have walked away from light rail when their own PricewaterhouseCoopers report makes it clear that light rail is a far more efficient, effective, and popular mode of transport than busways. The LUTI consulting and Cox Architecture 2020 report from PwC's Northern Suburbs Transit Corridor Transport Mode Study, which the minister has, is really clear that this congestion-busting solution of light rail would deliver, in 2027, 776 dwellings compared to rapid buses, which would deliver 174 dwellings, rapid buses, estimated 37 jobs, light trail, estimated by PwC at delivering 180 jobs. By 2037, it is estimated that the bus, so-called, solution will deliver 1043 dwellings along that corridor and 223 jobs, but light rail would deliver 4657 dwellings and 1082 jobs.

If you look at other jurisdictions, for example, in Perth, they actually removed their rapid bus system and installed light rail and saw, almost overnight, patronage increase rapidly. It has been sustained because people would rather be on a train than on a bus. This stadium will increase congestion to our city. It is not funded; we do not know how much it will cost. We do not know where the money will come from. We do know it will probably be loaded onto our debt. This stadium is only going to increase congestion pressures in our city. As a consequence of this minister and this Government's lack of imagination, what we risk here is ripping up that rail line out to Glenorchy, where the transport museum has permission to use the rail line from Glenorchy North, so that line will stay intact, but because of this government's lack of vision and desire to go for a cheap and nasty option, they are proposing to rip up the rail line from Macquarie Point to Glenorchy and put in a concrete busway.

That is a devastating lost opportunity for our city. It is a false economy of government to think that ripping up a rail line and putting in a concrete busway is the solution to congestion coming into the city from the north. Their own consultants' report makes a strong case for light trail along that transit corridor in the northern suburbs.