Federal Labor $20m plan to expand River Derwent ferry trial

In Attractions, Government, Tasmania
Derwent ferry

Federal Labor’s announcement on Friday of a new $20m plans to extend the currently operating ferry trials has been received positively by local residents.

Labor’s announcement came after local mayors issued their joint priority projects for the Greater Hobart Area ahead of the looming federal election, seeking funding commitments from the major parties and other candidates.

Labor’s investment would help facilitate the construction of a new network of jetties and terminals up and down the Derwent, building infrastructure at Lindisfarne, Sandy Bay, and Wilkinsons Point, while also upgrading the Bellerive Pier.

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from the mercury 9.4.22

Kingborough residents are increasingly determined to see the popular River Derwent ferry trial expanded to their municipality, a local councillor says.

The community was left buoyed by federal Labor’s announcement on Friday of a new $20m plan to extend the trial – currently operating between Bellerive Pier and Brooke St Pier – and eventually bring the service to the Kingborough and Brighton council areas.

Kingborough councillor Clare Glade-Wright said she had “only heard the community expressing their desire for ferries in Kingborough”.

“Any way we can relieve pressure on the Southern Outlet would … benefit the community,” she said.

Clare Glade-Wright. Source: SUPPLIED.

Clare Glade-Wright. Source: SUPPLIED.

“Obviously these types of projects need feasibility studies and determining the best locations that infrastructure (should be located). There’s a whole range of factors that need to be taken into account.”

Labor’s announcement came after Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds, Glenorchy Mayor Bec Thomas, Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman, and Kingborough Mayor Paula Wriedt issued their joint priority projects for the Greater Hobart Area ahead of the looming federal election, seeking funding commitments from the major parties and other candidates.

Foremost among these was a call for an investment of $20m over three years to support the “expansion and ongoing operation” of ferry services on the Derwent.

On Friday, Labor said it had listened to the councils and would honour their request if it won the election.

Opposition cities and urban infrastructure spokesman Andrew Giles said Labor believed Hobart could become “even more productive, more sustainable and more liveable” if all three levels of government worked together.

“I was hearing earlier today about this being the only place in the world where your commute to work involves whale-watching,” Mr Giles said. “That is what we are offering today – an opportunity for more people to have a more sustainable commute to work.”

Labor’s investment would help facilitate the construction of a new network of jetties and terminals up and down the Derwent, building infrastructure at Lindisfarne, Sandy Bay, and Wilkinsons Point, while also upgrading the Bellerive Pier.

Andrew Giles, Labor MP from Victoria. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

Andrew Giles, Labor MP from Victoria. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

Since the ferry trial began in August last year, more than 60,000 passengers have used it for their commute, with more than 10,000 using it during the Ashes Test alone.

A spokesman for federal Transport Minister Barnaby Joyce said the Morrison government was investing $13.5m in a Hobart Congestion Package and $73.7m in a Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

“Labor can’t say how they’ll pay for their promises,” he said. “And they can’t manage money.”

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