Mar 23, 2016

Bass Highway safety must be prioritised

 A Labor Government will prioritise road safety and freight logistics on the Bass Highway between Latrobe and Deloraine to overcome the last three years of neglect under the Abbott/Turnbull Government.

Today I met with the owners of Wattle Hill Service station who have collected over 2000 signatures in support of works on the highway.

The stretch between Devonport and Deloraine is notorious as a high accident area and has come under pressure in recent years from a significant increase in both tourism and freight on the highway.

TT-Line passenger numbers have grown by eight per cent last financial year and freight volumes are predicted to almost double by 2029 to between 6.6 and 8.6 million tons.

The freight growth alone will see the highway remain as the highest volume land transport freight link in Tasmania.

While works have been conducted on other parts of the highway past Deloraine, the section of the highway between Devonport and Deloraine has been ignored, despite the strong advocacy from the local community for funding.

Intersections that are particularly dangerous include here at Wattle Hill, Sassafras service stations, Elizabeth Town and Parramatta Creek.

Latrobe Council has identified the section of highway from Wattle Hill to Port Sorell Main Road as one of its key priorities in the lead up to the 2016 Federal Election.

While the Tasmanian Government has identified the corridor from Latrobe to Devonport, neither the State nor the Federal Governments have committed any funding to planning works.

Labor will continue to work with the local community to bring about change on this important section of the Bass Highway.