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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, will today take the case for a COVID-19 rescue package for Greater Hobart straight to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, and Alan Tudge who is the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure.

Prior to this afternoon’s virtual conference with the Federal Government, Mr Wilkie joined the Mayors of Hobart and Glenorchy to outline the extraordinary challenges in the region that warrant the rescue package.

Mr Wilkie said he had convened the conference this afternoon with Mr McCormack and Mr Tudge to discuss the challenges being faced by Greater Hobart and the Clark electorate and to present the mayors’ priority funding requests.

Priorities include $183m for shovel-ready transport projects in the Greater Hobart region that also takes in Clarence and Kingborough. This includes $150m for the Citylink Rail Southern Tasmania Solution.

“Greater Hobart is doing it tougher than the other capital cities on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and needs help,” Mr Wilkie said. “While all capitals have seen revenue crash, the City of Hobart has been hit even harder because of the City’s disproportionate hospitality, tourism and accommodation, arts and culture and tertiary education sectors. This has created ripples that compound the severe challenges being faced in Glenorchy, Clarence and Kingborough.”

Mr Wilkie said the transport projects highlighted were shovel-ready and could quickly get money into the economy and help the Federal Government meet its commitments under the Hobart City Deal.

“I seek a commitment from the Federal Government to fund a significant stimulus package for Greater Hobart,” he said. “While the exact makeup will be a matter for all levels of government to determine, I would expect significant infrastructure spending. As well as transport projects, there are a myriad of other pressing needs, including more public housing, redevelopment of the Hobart Aquatic Centre, improved tourism facilities and bicycle infrastructure.”