Sunday Tasmanian - - News | Letters -

MAC­QUARIE Point needs to be turned into a trans­port hub for Ho­bart, not an­other shop­ping precinct. There are plenty of va­cant shops in Ho­bart al­ready.

What Tas­ma­nia needs is some­one with vi­sion to see what is needed for the fu­ture of not just Ho­bart, but all of Tas­ma­nia.

We at T4T — Tas­ma­ni­ans 4 Tas­ma­nia — be­lieve that this is a far bet­ter pro­posal than just shops and of­fices.

The greater Ho­bart area (and Tas­ma­nia) needs a re­turn to pas­sen­ger rail, and Mac­quarie Point is ideally sit­u­ated to pro­vide this.

Cou­ple this with a re­turn to trams for Sandy Bay/Ta­roona, South Ho­bart and North Ho­bart/ Le­nah Val­ley and we will see a large vol­ume of traf­fic re­moved from Ho­bart City streets, which is what is re­ally needed.

Both trams and buses could leave and ter­mi­nate from there, which would al­low for the bus mall out­side the GPO to be re­moved.

Imag­ine cruise lin­ers pulling into Mac­quarie Wharf and pas­sen­gers be­ing able to ac­cess pub­lic trans­port right at their feet. Tourist and her­itage rail would be able to op­er­ate tourist trains on day trips to na­tional parks for them.

Trams would make get­ting around the city for their shop­ping ex­cur­sions a breeze.

There is no vi­sion in any of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Tas­ma­nia. They seem to be only able to do what Can­berra tells them, whether they like it or not.

Mal­colm Turn­bull is push­ing through with the rail line be­tween Mel­bourne and Bris­bane through west­ern New South Wales, so don’t tell me rail is not worth it.

Why isn’t he mak­ing it from Ho­bart to Bris­bane, and ren­o­vat­ing and up­grad­ing our rail sys­tem here? Af­ter all, it will be Tas­ma­nian taxes that will help fund it, but we will re­ceive noth­ing in re­turn, only the prom­ise of an­other two in­ter­con­nec­tors be­tween Tas­ma­nia and the main­land, so that we can keep the lights on in South Aus­tralia and the heaters on in a cold Can­berra, and maybe ex­pe­ri­ence the black­outs that they have that we don’t.

Nearly every Third World coun­try uses rail as a ma­jor part of their trans­port sys­tems be­cause it is the most ef­fi­cient means of mov­ing peo­ple and freight, and what some coun­tries would give to have such a deep har­bour next to a rail head.

What would it be like to be able to get on the train in Ho­bart to go to the footy in Launce­s­ton and vice-versa? I’m sure num­bers at matches would in­crease.

Tas­ma­nian peo­ple need to stand up and de­mand a re­turn to pas­sen­ger rail. If not, change who you’re vot­ing for.

Rob Ne­witt Moonah

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