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Clearing the way – taking action for Hobart traffic

New tow trucks to remove traffic-blocking vehicles have arrived in Hobart to assist us to deliver on our plan to reduce congestion in Hobart during peak periods.

Getting where you need to go, when you need to be there is important for all Tasmanians. So from today, a range of measures will come into force to reduce congestion in the Hobart CBD and key feeder routes.

These include:

  • an extension of tow truck hours to run all day on the Tasman Bridge;
  • tow away signs installed on Macquarie St;
  • clearways on Macquarie St extended by an hour each morning to start from 6.30am; and
  • the first of a new fleet of the latest quick-response tow trucks arriving to service the Hobart CBD and key feeder routes.

These tough new measures have been made possible since the Hodgman majority Liberal Government took over control of Davey and Macquarie Streets from the Hobart City Council.

From October 14, new incident response tow trucks will be used to remove vehicles from clearways on Macquarie Street in the morning peak period to improve the reliability of traffic flow through the city.

In preparation for this major change, from today clearway hours on Macquarie Street will be extended by an hour in the morning to begin at 6.30am, with signage updated to make it known.

We understand that changing traffic conditions can be challenging, so there will be a minimal grace period to adjust to the tow truck enforcement, while tickets will still be issued.

Quickly responding to breakdowns, traffic incidents or illegally parked cars will play a key role in improving time reliability and traffic flow on Hobart’s streets.

As part of our expanded incident response program, from today the incident response service on the Tasman Bridge will be extended to operate from 7am to 6pm, during the week.

The Tasman Bridge is key for the movement of traffic across Hobart. The extended service will allow us to respond immediately to incidents on the bridge throughout the day, and reduce the chance that any flow-on delays continue into the afternoon peak.

In the coming months, a similar service will be rolled out to respond to incidents during the morning and afternoon peaks on the Southern Outlet, Macquarie and Davey Streets, Brooker Highway, Domain Highway, Tasman Highway and East Derwent Highway.

This program will allow for incidents to be cleared more quickly, allowing busy arterials to return to normal service faster, at the busiest times of the day.

Continuing to build an efficient and effective transport network for Hobart is a key priority and our comprehensive traffic incident response plan, utilising leading traffic management technology, is part of our broader commitment to maintaining Hobart’s liveability.

More information is available on the Transport website at: www.transport.tas.gov.au/road/network/clearwayzones

Continuing to protect Tasmania’s most vulnerable

This week in Parliament the Hodgman Majority Liberal Government will remain focused on growing our economy, delivering our plans in health, education, housing and protecting Tasmania’s most vulnerable.

It also provides the opportunity for the Government to call Labor out on their lack of policies and direction, particularly their appalling refusal to support guaranteed gaol time for convicted pedophiles.

While Labor remain sniping from the sidelines, the Government will bring forward legalisation which criminalises acts of serious bullying to protect Tasmanians, particularly children and young people.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Bullying) Bill 2019 aims to expand the existing crime of stalking to address serious bullying behaviour, which includes targeting those who use the internet with the intention to cause serious physical or mental harm.

The Government believes our legislation strikes the right balance to ensure our laws protect Tasmanians, while not unnecessarily bringing people, especially the young, before the Courts.

It also sends a clear message that serious bullying behaviour, including cyberbullying, is unacceptable and must be stopped.

We will also bring forward a number of other Bills for debate, including the Vehicle and Traffic Amendment Bill, Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, Civil Liability Amendment Bill and the Historic Cultural and Heritage Amendment Bill.

While we are delivering legislation to protect Tasmanians, grow the economy and create jobs, the only thing Labor seem committed to are low blow, political stunts to get a headline in the media. Tasmanians deserve better.

Taking Tassie’s best drops to the world

When it comes to supporting Tasmania’s agricultural industries, there is no stronger supporter than the Hodgman majority Liberal Government.

We have a target to grow the annual farm gate value of Tasmania’s agricultural sector to $10 billion by 2050, and to do this we understand the importance of opening up new export markets within Australia, but also internationally.

The wine industry is well on its way to reach its targeted growth of 1.5 million cases of wine by 2020, a trebling of wine production since 2013, and our investment of $600,000 has enabled the wine industry to undertake strategic and targeted promotion programs to grow the presence and reputation of Tasmania and its wine in key markets.

The primary focus of these programs will be the important United Kingdom, USA, Hong Kong and domestic markets, with a secondary focus on broader Asia, specifically Japan and Singapore.

The investment will also be used to support Tasmania’s wine producers to explore and grow alternative markets, including export and the direct to consumer channels.

The Government has also invested $250,000 to match funding from the Federal International Wine Tourism State Grants program, to partner local wine and tourism businesses on a global marketing campaign.

Investments like these allow the industry to continue the momentum and brand recognition of the quality of Tasmania’s spectacular wine industry, while keeping our clean and green brand in the front of mind for consumers in all our markets.

Whether it be increasing cellar door sales, boosting red meat production, supporting the growth in organic products, or growing export opportunities for fruit and vegetables – we are proud to be backing Tasmanian producers and seeing our state benefit from our vibrant and innovative agricultural sector.

Securing a bright digital future

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to creating opportunities for Tasmanian businesses to prosper in the digital economy, build the workforce of the future by strengthening the link between industry and education, and ensure that all Tasmanians have the opportunity to learn new skills to adapt to an ever changing world. We’re proud to support the industry with a number of initiatives that include:

  • The forthcoming Digital Ready for Daily Life program, developed in close partnership with TasCOSS, which aims to raise the digital literacy of the most vulnerable in our community, so all Tasmanians have equal ability to partake in the digital revolution. Leveraging TasCOSS’ expertise in the not-for-profit sector has allowed us direct the program to maximise social and economic participation through online and mobile technologies, improve skills, enhance quality of life and educating, as well as promote overall wellbeing;
  • The highly successful Digital Ready for Business program, which for a number of years has helped Tasmanian small business get online and market their products to a worldwide audience;
  • Our $3.5 million commitment to enhance mobile telecommunications coverage along the Great Eastern Drive, one of Tasmania’s most important tourism icons;
  • Development of a new Workforce Development Plan for the industry, with a particular focus on encouraging women and diversity in IT;
  • The Enterprize Innovation Hubs in Launceston and Hobart which are doing fantastic work to support the start-up and research sectors;
  • The Tasmanian Government’s start-up accelerator; a $900,000 investment which will soon turn the concepts of Tasmania’s best and brightest into viable, real-world products and services;
  • Twice yearly ICT summits which invites representatives of the IT industry such as the Australian Computer Society, TasICT and the private sector to discuss the topic of Digital Disruption and the ICT Skills Pipeline;
  • The 2019/20 Budget also committed additional funding to continue the  Tasmanian Government’s network of Free Wi-Fi hotspots across the state, which through partnership with Telstra, has proven extremely popular with Tasmanians accessing the internet on their portable devices, as well as visitors to our state who are quickly and easily jumping online to share the best of their unique Tasmanian experiences with the world;
  • and an additional $360,000 to support a broader scope of activities under the Science and Technology portfolio, including enhanced STEM engagement and highlighting career paths, building Tasmania’s science and technology profile and brand, increasing knowledge, awareness and foresight of future industry trends and addressing critical science and technology infrastructure investment priorities.

Parliament approves new Greater Hobart Act

The Tasmanian Parliament has now passed the Government’s landmark legislation to provide for greater collaboration between Southern councils and Government.

The Greater Hobart Act is an exciting step towards fostering a framework to support decision making between the Clarence, Glenorchy, Hobart and Kingborough councils and the Tasmanian Government.

The Greater Hobart Bill will allow the Tasmanian Government and Southern councils to capitalise on the many possibilities on the horizon for our capital city, while also effectively managing and planning for pressures our city faces as it grows.

The legislation passed the Parliament yesterday afternoon with minor amendments to take into account issues raised in the Upper House. It will create a strategic path forward for the Greater Hobart area and facilitate the implementation of the Hobart City Deal and its many exciting components.

Backing Tasmanian businesses to deliver for our community

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government believes our Tasmanian businesses deserve a fair go when it comes to winning Government contracts to deliver services and projects in our community.

That is why our Buy Local policy changed the procurement rules to be more supportive of local employers and sets a target for 90 per cent of all government contracts to be awarded to Tasmanian-based businesses by 2022.

We are pleased to announce that in the June 2019 quarter we exceeded our target, well ahead of schedule, with 92 per cent of Tasmanian businesses winning open government contracts. This is great news and proves the value of our different approach.

Importantly, over the 2018-19 financial year, the total value of open tenders awarded to Tasmanian businesses reached 90 per cent.

That equates to more than $310 million injected into our local economy, stimulating our businesses, building confidence and creating new jobs for Tasmanians.

To give Tasmanian businesses an even better chance of securing contracts, we increased the local benefits test from 10 per cent to 20 per cent to ensure benefits to the wider community, such as job creation and social benefits are taken into account when decisions are made on awarding contracts.

The test gives Tasmanian businesses an even better chance of securing contracts, while still ensuring healthy competition and value for money for taxpayers and the latest results show our policies are working.

Haven Built is one of Tasmania’s small construction firms benefiting from our Buy Local policy. The Hobart-based business has more than 25 years of experience and recently won a $280,000 contract to upgrade and refurbish the kindergarten at New Town Primary School.

Through supporting our eager businesses, like Haven Built, the Hodgman majority Liberal Government is committed to ensuring more taxpayers’ money stays in Tasmania, contributing to jobs for Tasmanians, and further fueling our economy.

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