Businesses Bouyed by Light Rail Potential

The Moonah and Glenorchy Business Association has thrown its weight behind a Light Rail link between Hobart and the Northern Suburbs in the wake of a report predicting a long term economic bonanza for the region.

The recently released ‘Transport Corridor Report’ by independent consultants GHD says an urban renewal project along the rail corridor could provide between 500 and 1000 construction jobs a year, for two decades.

The report predicts about 35 hectares along the corridor could be transformed into new residential and commercial development as part of wider urban renewal for the area, triggering an ongoing construction and jobs stimulus.

President of the Moonah and Glenorchy Business Association Beres Taylor says “The rail project has been talked about for too long and now the significant economic benefits have been quantified its time has definitely come”.

Mr Taylor says “Restoring rail is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ for businesses in the city of Glenorchy”.

Glenorchy District Football Club President John McCann has also joined calls for the State Government to begin planning for Light Rail saying “The KGV sporting precinct could become the most access friendly ‘events venue’ in Tasmania” and a benefit to the whole of Hobart.

Mr McCann says “improving the equity of access to services, schools, entertainment, retail, and health infrastructure is very important. The revitalisation and commercial opportunities of an ‘easy access people moving service’ would be substantial for the Northern suburbs.”

Moonah businesswoman and restaurateur Lucy Baker (St Albi) has gone public with an online video highlighting the growth potential of a Hobart Light Rail link. Ms Baker says “If there was no infrastructure for the railway system you could understand it’d be harder, but because it’s just sitting there dormant, it seems crazy that it’s not used”.

Ms Baker says “it’s a ‘no-brainer’ - especially when Hobart is such an up and coming city where locals and tourists are demanding faster, smoother transport links.”

Rail Action Group President Ben Johnston says “modelling predicts 6 million trips every year on the rail service and polling shows at least 62% support in Denison”.

Ben Johnston