All Talk Yet No Action On Transport Plan

All Talk Yet No Action On Transport Plan

Tasmania Shadow Minister for Sustainable Transport Matthew Groom

McKim’s Light Rail Cost Blow-Out

Victor P Taffa

Reports that almost one third of the funds allocated for Northern Suburbs Light Rail Case Study have been wasted on administration costs are just another example of Government waste.

“The Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group AGM held last week heard that up to $100,000 of the $350,000 allocated in this year’s budget has already been spent, without any firm commitments being made.” Shadow Minister for Sustainable Transport Matthew Groom said today.

“The light rail business case study was announced more than seven months ago by Minister for Sustainable Transport, Nick McKim, yet the process has so far been nothing but a case study in inertia, incompetence and ineptitude.”


“Far from completing the study within that timeframe, Minister McKim is yet to even appoint a party to conduct the study, yet he has managed to whittle away almost a third of his allocated budget on administrative costs.” Mr. Groom said.

“Tasmania is in desperate need of the type of economic stimulus that this project can deliver. Not only would is see a wave of urban development along the rail corridor, it would provide new, medium density housing and a number of commercial retail opportunities, as well as a new clean green transport option to better connect the northern suburbs to the CBD.”

“If the momentum for this project is lost, it will not recover.” Mr. Groom said.

“I call on the Minister to reign in the spending, renew his commitment to this project as his number one priority for 2011 and make it happen.” Mr. Groom said.

The development of Australia and Tasmania followed with the construction of Railway Lines and followed by Tramways.

Metro Rail began in London in 1863 and was electrified in 1890.

Railways began in Australia in Melbourne in 1854 and in Sydney in 1855.

Oil and other Companies destroyed Tramways in Australia in the 1940’s and 1950’s with the exception of Melbourne and the Glenelg Line in South Australia.

Sydney lost the second largest Tramway Network in the British Empire outside of London in 1961 and Brisbane lost its Tramways on 13 April 1969, Perth in 1958 and Hobart on 24 October 1960 last operated Tramways.

Groups such as Eco Transit in Sydney seem to think that Light Rail is the only option and the construction of Light Rail will happen because they simply click their fingers.

Editor Victor P Taffa has long supported the Expansion of Heavy Railways in Sydney and New South Wales through and opposed Metro Rail at a great personal cost.

Tasmania lost Passenger Railways in 1978 and Tramways in the 1950’s. To simply think that an isolated Light Rail Line will happen in Tasmania is a romantic ideal and most likely uneconomic.

Unless others have considered the idea the real way forward for Tasmania Transport is to have a Rail Ferry operating from the Williamstown Line in Melbourne to Devonport.

Instead of operating a Narrow Gauge System the most economic way forward for Transport in Tasmania is a Broad Gauge Railway from the Rail Ferry that could expand throughout Tasmania.

Unless Light Rail can provide an Economic Plan for Tasmania this Plan is doomed to fail. What Gauge is the Light Rail Lobby in Tasmania Planning to use?

Railways and Tramways died in Tasmania because of Proper Planning and Maintenance.

Railways and Tramways have to complement each other and the way forward for Rail-Based Transport in Tasmania is a Rail Ferry followed by the construction of a Broad Gauge Railways that can also incorporate Tramways at an affordable cost.

The Rail Ferry to Tasmania conveys Passengers, Tourists, Trains and Trams. Railway and Tramway Expansion will only be a serious option in Tasmania if it is connected by a Rail Ferry from Victoria.