Councils say it’s time to get moving on Bridge

THINK South a body representing the 12 southern councils and which together make up more than 50 per cent of the Tasmanian population, says it is time to get moving on the replacement of the Bridgewater Bridge.

Lord Mayor Sue Hickey, chair of Think South, said the Bridgewater Bridge was an ageing piece of infrastructure and its replacement needed to be addressed.

From left, Mayor Peter Coad (Huon Valley), Mayor Kerry Vincent (Sorell), Mayor Tony Bisdee (Southern Midlands), Mayor Martyn Evans (Derwent Valley), Mayor Deirdre Flint (Central Highlands), Deputy Mayor Barbara Curran (Brighton), Lord Mayor Sue Hickey (Hobart), Mayor Steve Wass (Kingborough), Mayor Kristie Johnston (Glenorchy), Mayor Roseanne Heyward (Tasman)

“We know that the replacement of the Bridgewater Bridge is a difficult proposition, but that doesn’t mean all tiers of government shouldn’t plan for the future,” Alderman Hickey said.

“This project has been on the books for over a decade, there have been countless meetings and general agreement that a new bridge needs to be built.

“So we want to work collaboratively with both State and Federal Governments to see this project come to fruition.

“This is a large scale project and the only way we are going to see it constructed is if all tiers of government work together.

“In the past we have seen some planning work undertaken on a new Bridgewater Bridge and funding set aside for land acquisition.

“But we are still yet to see more detailed work outlining a design and proper planning completed as well as a time-frame for its construction, that is why we want to sit down with both governments and look at these issues,” she said.

Think South Infrastructure committee chair, Mayor Deirdre Flint said now was the perfect time to get serious about the replacement Bridgewater Bridge.

“We have heard Tony Abbott declare that he wants to be known as the ‘Infrastructure Prime Minister’, what better opportunity to support this than through investing in the biggest infrastructure project in Southern Tasmania?

“Large scale infrastructure projects, like the replacement of the Bridgewater Bridge, seem like the perfect piece of work for Infrastructure Tasmania.

“We supported the establishment of Infrastructure Tasmania prior to the last election, and we want to see the CEO appointed as quickly as possible and the office up and running.

“If we are going to attract Federal funds to undertake detailed planning work and then ultimately replace the bridge, we need to be developing a comprehensive and compelling business case outlining the importance of both of these projects,” Cr Flint said.