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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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Monday, February 22, 2010

Media Release

Future Transport Tasmania’s questions for candidates

Community-based public transport advocacy group, Future Transport Tasmania (FTT), today released its questions for candidates in the Tasmanian State Election of 2010. The questions will be sent to all candidates for the State Election, and the group will publish the responses on its website before the election is held. FTT hopes that this will enable voters concerned about public transport policy and the future of the railway system, to have the answers they need, to help inform their voting decisions.

FTT believes that public transport services and rail infrastructure have been largely ignored during the State Election so far. Recently construction has begun on both the Brighton Bypass and the Kingston Bypass, for a total cost of over $200 million dollars. These developments will barely save more than ten minutes of travel time for commuters in peak hour, will guarantee further expensive highway maintenance costs, yet will not necessarily ensure smooth flowing traffic.

FTT believes that it is vitally important for the state’s future that future infrastructure takes into account the full range of net-cost benefit analysis. This should include climate change, peak oil and population growth, noting that as climate change effects increase, Tasmania will become an even more desirable place to live for potential immigrants from interstate and overseas.

Future Transport Tasmania spokesperson Toby Rowallan said: “We have a firm view that Tasmania’s public transport infrastructure and services should be significantly improved. Given that Metro Tasmania’s annual budget is approximately $40 million, when you compare that with the cost of the Kingston Bypass at around $42 million, its hard not to question whether this is really value for money.“

“Last year the Tasmanian Government took back ownership of the Tasmanian Railway system. Future Transport Tasmania wants to see the railways remain in public hands, and receive the investment that is needed to make sure the railways can take heavy trucks off our highways. This investment is urgently needed, but we are still waiting for the political commitment to it. If we look at the cost of the Brighton Bypass ($164 million), we have another questionable use of taxpayer’s funds that will incur further maintenance costs over the years. The railways would make far more effective use of that sort of money, shifting heavy freight to rail, providing a real impact on climate change and helping to make Tasmania immune from the fast approaching impact of peak oil.”

“We are convinced that in order for Tasmania’s economy to progress, its public transport services and the rail system must have priority over highways and roads. We don’t believe that relying on the road network to keep our economy connected is sustainable.”

“We await with interest responses from candidates, and hope that they regard this issue as seriously as we do.” finished Mr Rowallan.

(Questions are below)

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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