Local Tasmanian firms win contracts to revamp the Port of Devonport

Local Tasmanian firms win contracts to revamp the Port of Devonport

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has a great story to tell when it comes to infrastructure delivery, following our biggest annual infrastructure investment since we came to Government.

TasPorts is investing in new infrastructure at the Port of Devonport to cater for a projected 40 per cent increase in freight and an extra 160,000 customers on the new Spirits of Tasmania. The extra capacity will also cater for servicing the increased volume of freight from the SeaRoad ferries.

The Port of Devonport is one of the State’s fastest growing ports and is already a major gateway for tourism and freight.

Today’s first major contract announcement for the Devonport East Quaylink project – to a joint venture company established by Hazell Bros Group Pty Ltd and Brady Marine & Civil Pty Ltd – for work on the eastern side of the Mersey River, is a great milestone for the project and the port more broadly.

The works will deliver a new berth, a new wharf structure, and reclamation of the area at the existing Berth 3E, which will be specifically designed for the new Spirit of Tasmania vessels.

Importantly, the $240 million Quaylink project will do much more than just futureproof Devonport as a tourism and freight gateway for the next 50-years, it will also have huge benefits for local businesses.

In the short to medium-term, there are strong provisions in the contract for the joint venture company to use local contractors for goods and services – approximately two-thirds of the contract’s value would be spent with Tasmanian businesses.

There are also flow-on benefits outside the immediate Devonport area given Hazell Bros’ track record of engaging all aspects of its business like quarries and concrete batching plants in its projects.

During construction, approximately 50 people will be working on-site and a further 30 people off-site.

We will continue to deliver the vital infrastructure our growing State needs.

Try our buses for free: Delivering cost of living relief with free bus travel

Try our buses for free: Delivering cost of living relief with free bus travel

The Tasmanian Liberal Government remains focussed on matters Tasmanians really care about.

To alleviate the impact of current higher fuel prices, all public bus travel across the state will be free for five weeks – starting on Monday March 28.

The Tasmanian Government will foot the bill for this initiative, which has the dual purpose of supporting family budgets and encouraging commuters to switch from private car travel to public transport.

While higher fuel prices are due to global fuel market uncertainty, we understand the impact it is causing on cost of living pressures.

The Tasmanian Government heavily subsidises Metro and other private providers of public transport around the state. At this point, we see a temporary, highly attractive measure such as free bus travel as one option the Tasmanian Government can activate to ease cost of living pressures.

Importantly, it also encourages Tasmanians who aren’t already in the habit of catching buses to give them a try and enjoy the convenience and price advantage.

Congestion is assisted by this type of successful public transport “mode shift”.

Fares will be free across all operators – school buses and general access buses – and across all fare types (adult, concession and students). The incentive starts on Monday 28 March and runs until the end of April.

Our heavily subsidised fares are already attractive when compared to the cost of running, insuring, maintaining and parking cars. However with this special incentive, this means an adult travelling on a Metro urban zone 1 trip will save $5.60 a day. Travellers from Sorell to Hobart can save $15.20 on a return trip, travellers from Westbury to Launceston will pocket a benefit worth $22.80, and Port Sorell to Devonport $27.80 for return trips.

Better still, bus passengers can read a book or do some work while travelling, and not have to worry about finding a place to park at the end of journey.

The Government will ask Public Transport operators to monitor and assess services during this special initiative due to the potential for significant new demand. We also thank passengers in advance for their patience if their preferred service becomes busy, particularly during peak periods.

Parents and Learner Drivers

Parents and Learner Drivers

Parents and learner drivers

Parents can continue to supervise their learner driver family members.

However, as we have always said, the safety and security of Tasmanians is our number one priority when it comes to protecting Tasmania from the spread of coronavirus.

Learner driving is considered a learning activity. If you are supervising a learner driver, you must adhere to the rules, only drive within your municipality, and only stop if you are getting essential supplies. If you do not have an essential reason to stop anywhere, you should not exit the vehicle while out and about.

Our message is clear, no one should be visiting outside their region or be away from their home without an essential reason.

We all need to be sensible and help reduce the threat posed by COVID-19.

Tenders called for Arthur Highway overtaking lane

The Hodgman Liberal Government is investing in generational upgrades to our road infrastructure to set up our state for the future.

We are continuing to progress our South-East Traffic Solution to improve safety and travel times for commuters and visitors on the Tasman and Arthur Highways in the state’s south.

Tenders for the new overtaking lane on Arthur Highway have opened today.

As well as a new southbound overtaking lane, the Arthur Highway upgrade will provide turn lanes at Valleyfield Road and Schofield Drive, as well as U-turn facilities and safer bus stops for public transport.

These improvements will help cater for future traffic increases resulting from strong residential growth in Sorell and southern beaches, as well as the growing number of visitors travelling to the Tasman Peninsula.

Construction on the Arthur Highway overtaking lane is expected to start late this year.

Further information on the South East Traffic Solution is available here: www.transport.tas.gov.au/road/projects/southeasttrafficsolution

Information on the Arthur Highway overtaking lane tender will be available at www.tenders.tas.gov.au

Aeromedical service saving crucial minutes

Tasmania’s first ever integrated medical and search and rescue helicopter service has resulted in far quicker response times, ultimately saving lives.

Ambulance Tasmania is delivering high-acuity care quicker than ever before – effectively bringing an emergency department to the scene. I met with aeromedical doctors recently who advised me lives have already been saved in Tasmania as a result.

This brand new lifesaving service is part of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s $125 million plan for ambulance services. It represents an enormous improvement on our previous operation, with dedicated flight paramedics and specialist doctors.

To support the service, the Government has invested $50 million in this Budget, which is focused on maintaining the momentum and investing in essential services.

This is on top of the $14 million already spent on building helipads at the state’s major hospitals – including the new pad at the Royal Hobart Hospital, along with $1.6 million for medical equipment, vehicle fleet and other infrastructure to support the service.

We have already doubled the state’s contracted helicopter capacity from one to two on standby, and importantly we also now have a helicopter crew based at the service.

Staffing for the service includes paramedics, specialist retrieval doctors, flight crew members, nurses and paediatric registrar doctors.

By having dedicated flight paramedics, it means an ambulance crew no longer has to be taken off the road when the emergency helicopter is called out, resulting in quicker response times and ensuring patients are receiving high-acuity care from the moment the helicopter lands, rather than having to wait until they arrive at hospital.

New eating disorder support for Tasmanians

Tasmanians living with an eating disorder will have access to additional support from the Butterfly Foundation thanks to new funding delivered by the Hodgman Liberal Government.

The Government’s election policy to provide $400,000 funding to the Butterfly Foundation includes a newly created Eating Disorder Coordinator support role for Tasmania, and peer workers to support Tasmanians living with eating disorders.

The Peer workers will work with adolescents and adults, providing support and a dedicated first point of contact and care.

Eating disorders not only impact the person experiencing the disorder, but also their family, friends and community, who will also be supported by the new service.

The Butterfly Foundation will greatly improve the lives of the many Tasmanians impacted by eating disorders, with approximately 10 per cent of Australians experience eating disorders.

Eating disorders are serious chronic illnesses with significant physical, psychological and social impacts.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to improving mental healthcare in Tasmania with $104 million of additional funding being provided over six years.

The Australian Government is also supporting Tasmanians by investing in new mental health and primary care initiatives with their recent announcement of $10 million of additional funding to establish an eating disorder clinic in Hobart.

I congratulate the Butterfly Foundation on the roll-out of this important program in Tasmania and look forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to our community.

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