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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, says the Tasmanian and Federal governments have wilfully ignored warnings from engineering experts about the vulnerability of the Tasman Bridge for at least five years.

“I raised very serious concerns about the safety and future of the Tasman Bridge with then Premier Will Hodgman and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull way back in 2016,” Mr Wilkie said today.

“This followed a briefing by a group of eminent engineers and a retired senior harbour pilot, who sounded alarm bells about the increasing size of cargo vessels navigating the River Derwent and the time lapsed since a detailed risk assessment was completed on this vital link between Hobart’s eastern and western shores.

“The dangers being highlighted by Bill Lawson AM and Bruce Crossley, both of whom have intimate knowledge of the structure, need to be taken seriously. In the event of another disaster, the State Government would be left with blood on its hands. Public safety, after all, is paramount. If that means banning vessels from sailing underneath the bridge, then so be it.

“The fact that vehicle traffic is stopped when vessels travel under the bridge is undeniable proof that the State Government knows there is the chance of another collision and bridge collapse. In other words, the Government is seeking to mislead the community on this issue instead of being transparent and putting public safety ahead of the budget bottom line.”