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Author Topic: Hobart: Rail corridor seen as vital for city growth  (Read 1416 times)

Offline ozbob

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Hobart: Rail corridor seen as vital for city growth
« on: February 22, 2016, 04:31:28 PM »
Mercury --> Rail corridor seen as vital for city growth

DEVELOPMENT of the disused rail corridor will be key to the future growth of Hobart and Glenorchy, says the group given the task of moving the project forward.

Hobart and Glenorchy city councils have formed a working party to look at areas around both cities that could benefit from development within the catchments of proposed stopping points for a public transit system.

Working party member Hobart aldermen Anna Reynolds, right, says the development of overlooked spaces in Hobart and Glenorchy for the stops, could be a “city-shaping, game changer”.

“The State Government’s looked at it from a purely transport perspective over a number of years and it’s debatable whether it stacks up just on transport grounds — I think it does — but the point is what we’re doing now is around whether this is an ­important project for the ­development of our cities,” Alderman Reynolds said.

An in-house draft report has identified Hobart central; Macquarie Point; Peltro St, Glenorchy; Bay Rd, New Town; Albert Rd, Moonah; Derwent Park Rd, Moonah; Alcorso Drive, Berriedale; and, Box Hill Rd, Claremont, as ­potential hubs for a future transport system.

Community pressure has been building on the State and Federal governments to break Hobart’s gridlock nightmare.

Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey has described traffic congestion as a nightmare and said her council would continue to work with Glenorchy council on a rail corridor ­between the two cities.

Ald Reynolds believes the corridor would also open up housing opportunities.

“Is this a key way for us to grow into the future, rather than continuing to spread up the hillside or sprawl all around Hobart,” she said.

A recent Infrastructure Tasmania report into the viability of a light rail system, which took in all previous feasibility reports, found a system would run at an operational loss.

However, Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding has said the State Government will work with the councils to ­develop an understanding of land-use planning and rezoning issues for commercial and residential opportunities ­adjacent to the rail corridor.

Ald Reynolds said the group would lobby the Prime Minister for funds in the lead up to the federal election.

“We want to say the two councils are working together now and we think this is a city shaping corridor for Greater Hobart,” she said.

“If the planets line up and the Federal Government sees the city building and innovative elements of this project then that would be great, but if not, we’re still very keen to work with all levels of government to keep pushing this along,” she said.

With Macquarie Point identified as a possible stopping point, Ald Reynolds said the working party also wanted to meet the Macquarie Point Development Corporation to better understand why it had started removing some of the rail tracks from the site.

MPDC chief executive Liz Jack said it had lifted a small portion of tracks for safety and logistic reasons.

“Where there is rail in the wrong location, yes, we’d ­rather have it ripped up so it can be reused if it needs to be by another group in the ­future,” Ms Jack said.

A State Government spokes­woman said removal of the tracks was not expected to have any impact as a light rail system would most likely be a different gauge track.

Ald Reynolds said council staff would put together relevant information for a tender process to appoint a consultant to study the corridor, including potential rates capture.

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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