Denison Joins PM in Call for Rail Action

The group promoting the future development of Light Rail in Hobart says a new opinion poll debunks claims the service ‘isn’t yet viable’.

The ReachTel poll reveals that 62 per-cent of people in the Hobart electorate of Denison back the idea of a light rail link between the northern suburbs and Hobart, with only 22 percent against it.

The Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group says the strong support debunks claims by the Transport Minister Rene Hidding, that the service ‘isn’t currently viable’, adding a 2013 study predicted fares would easily cover costs.

The Group’s Ben Johnston says it’s time the State Government listened to the public and the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull and made a Hobart Rail project the cornerstone of a City Deal with the Commonwealth Government.

Mr Johnston says most people in Hobart understand the value of using the existing infrastructure to ease traffic congestion and ‘future-proof’ the city, but the State Government is dragging its feet.

The group is calling on the State Government to reveal its promised ‘infrastructure pipeline’ and make Light Rail a priority.

A 2013 State Government report predicted six million trips per annum will be undertaken on the proposed light rail system with annual operating and maintenance costs of $2.5 million easily covered by fares.

Ben Johnston