Welcome to Future Transport Tasmania

We are here to lobby for better public transport and rail infrastructure in Tasmania. We aim to find solutions to allow all Tasmanians to have environmentally responsible and affordable commuting options to get around our state and towns. A more detailed mission statement can be found in the left column or <here>.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Media Release

Wednesday June 10th


No trains in Tasmania is not an option

With today’s announcement by Pacific National that it is halting rail operations on June 30th, Future Transport Tasmania (FTT) said that it is time for the State Government to finally address the issue of Tasmania’s railway crisis and take decisive action.

FTT strongly believes that not having an operational rail freight service in Tasmania is simply not an option. If the railway is ends up being closed, the Tasmanian public will be left with the pressure and cost that additional truck movements will place on the road network.

Future Transport Tasmania Spokesperson, Toby Rowallan said: ‘The Tasmanian rail system has lurched from crisis to crisis in the past few years and this is will either be the death of the railways altogether or the moment in which they are reborn. But that rebirth can only come about from the actions of the Tasmanian Government, who now has to take over the rail operations and ensure that the trains keep running.’

‘Yes, it will cost money to buy new trains and keep operations running, but the cost of not doing anything will be much more. Heavy trucks cause exponentially far more damage to the road surface than cars. More trucks inevitably will mean a greater risk of them being involved in serious road crashes, and the tragic consequences that may result. Whilst there have been many derailments on the railways in recent times, no one has been killed and no member of the public has been at risk, for obvious reasons. Without the rail system the government will be forced to spend even more on road maintenance, which Tasmania certainly cannot afford.’

‘It is immaterial whether or not the Minister, Graeme Sturges, is correct in saying that Pacific National is playing games. Ever since Pacific National purchased Tasrail we have seen them put nothing but ultimatum after ultimatum to the State Government. This is the State Government’s chance to resolve our rail problem and be finally rid of this company that, for whatever reason, it seems to have had so much trouble dealing with.’

‘We are certain that there are a number of viable and practical solutions to this issue. These solutions may involve the State Government creating a new Government Business Enterprise, which it later sells, after taking the necessary action to reverse the loss of freight traffic,’ added Mr Rowallan.

Future Transport Tasmania wants to see a fully upgraded rail network with new locomotives and rolling stock purchased as soon as possible. Other improvements essential to a viable rail network include a realignment of the tight and twisting section of main line between Tea Tree and Rhyndaston. Further improvements should be planned for a re-build of the rail line to Smithton, and re-opening of the rail line to Scottsdale.

Future Transport Tasmania is planning to launch a public campaign to Save Tassie’s Rail very shortly.

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Contacting Future Transport Tasmania

For further information:
Toby Rowallan (secretary) 0418 997 069

Mailing address:
Future Transport Tasmania
Bathurst St. Post Office
PO Box 4515
Hobart 7000