Catalyst for growth

THE completed Brighton Bypass will be the catalyst for further growth and development in the Brighton municipality.

This is the prediction from Brighton Mayor Tony Foster, speaking at the official opening of the multi-million dollar highway development.

Cr Foster said undoubtedly, the bypass and associated infrastructure would encourage the further development of the Brighton municipality, providing business and employment opportunities and enhancing the well-being of the community.

Cutting the ribbon from left, Mayor of Southern Midland Cr Tony Bisdee, Minister for Community Services Julie Collins, Federal Member for Lyons Dick Adams, Premier Lara Giddings, Minister for Infrastructure David O’Byrne, Mayor of Brighton Tony Foster and Tasmanian member for Lyons Michael Polley.

“Importantly, while it will certainly reduce traffic through the towns of Brighton and Pontville, the Bypass will also greatly improve transport efficiency between the southern and northern regions of Tasmania.

“With the Brighton Transport Hub and our Brighton Industrial Estate, it will make this area a focus of important industrial, transport and economic infrastructure, particularly for the southern part of the State.

“Of course, this has not been a short-term project. The highway bypassing Brighton and Pontville has been on the agenda for well over 20 years.

“I remember when I first joined Council in the 1980s, The possibility of a bypass was being discussed when I first joined the Council in the 1980s and I pushed for its development since that time I became Mayor in 1993.”

The Mayor commended the Federal and State Governments that funded the Bypass project and all the designers, contractors and the workforce who had constructed it.

However, he said it must be remembered that this was but one stage of the proposed Granton to Dysart Midland Highway upgrading that was agreed to before the 2007 Federal Election.

“We look forward to the urgent commencement of stage two and stage three – the Pontville to Dysart section and the Bridgewater Bridge replacement. Unfortunately, these vital projects are both missing from the Tasmanian Government’s priority wish list for round two Nation Building funding covering 2014 -2019 and that is extremely disappointing.

“Funding has been provided for some property acquisitions associated with the bridge replacement planning and while this is a start, our community wants to see some definite plans and a firm and early timeline for the construction of this vital project. The delay has gone on for too long!

“I would urge the State Government to reconsider their infrastructure priorities and ensure the construction of these next stages as a matter or urgency.”

Cr Foster said opening of the bypass would enable the restoration of Brighton and Pontville to community towns.

“Brighton Council has plans for the beautification of our municipality and indeed this work has already commenced.

“We have recently approved a Brighton Town Centre local area plan for the central area of the Brighton township so we are taking a proactive planning approach to manage the projected high population growth and to harness new development opportunities flowing from the completion of the Brighton Bypass.

“This provides a framework for future land use and development in Brighton and was developed in consultation key stakeholders and the Brighton community during late July and August of this year.

“So Council did not sit back and wait for the impact of the completion of the bypass. We planned for the changes to ensure the best outcomes for the community,” Cr Foster said.

Meanwhile the opening was officiated by Federal Minister for Community Services Julie Collins and Federal Labor Member for Lyons Dick Adams with Premier Lara Giddings and Minister for Infrastructure David O’Byrne

Premier Lara Giddings said the Brighton Bypass was an example of the State and Federal Labor governments working together to build infrastructure that secured jobs and opportunities for Tasmanians.

“The Brighton Bypass has been on the drawing board for decades and it has taken cooperation and a shared Labor commitment to Tasmania’s future to bring it to reality.”

Mr O’Byrne said that the bypass was a crucial piece of local infrastructure and a significant investment in the Tasmanian economy.