Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, has slammed the State Government’s sloth-like approach to activating the Northern Suburbs rail corridor, also calling for the immediate release of the latest report that’s now been with the Government since December.
“Back in January 2018, the State Government promised to pull out all stops to get this key transport link up and running within five years,” Mr Wilkie said. “We’re now one year out from that 2023 deadline and progress remains virtually non-existent.
“We have $25m in Hobart City Deal funds to activate the corridor but what do we have to show for it? Just a long-disused track, a string of expensive reports, and a recent Seek job ad for a $132,000-a-year position to head up a project that’s not even been articulated let alone finalised.
“Adding insult to injury, the public hasn’t even been given the opportunity to see the latest report despite the fact it’s been with the State Government since December. Instead, details have been selectively released to a Senate committee while the rest remains shrouded in secrecy.
“What we need is some genuine will to get this city-shaping project back on track, not more reams of paperwork prepared by faceless consultants for private political viewing. Nor does the community need red herrings like the apparently startling revelation that the current tracks are unusable when it’s always been the case that modern tracks would be needed for modern trains.
“While there is great public support for the project to service the Northern Suburbs, the State Government clearly has no real interest in light rail in Hobart. If we had a government with a bit of vision for public transport solutions, getting light rail into the city would be a top priority.”