Federal Election: What's in it for Hobart
Updated: Apr 9, 2022
It's that time again: the federal election will be called this weekend with Australians going to the polls on Saturday 21st May. The silly season is upon us; our TVs, newspapers and social media feeds will be filled with all sorts of information, misinformation and disinformation fed to us by those that yearn for power but why is the Federal election important to Hobart City? and what does it have to do with Hobart City Council?
It is important to understand how our councils are funded. Did you know that council rates make up only 3.4% of tax raised by all Australian governments? Yet councils are responsible for providing so many of our day to day services. There is also a popular misconception that Your Rates pay for all of councils business. In fact, on average, rates make up about 40% of councils' revenue Australia wide. A further 40% of their income tends to come from revenue raised through fees, charges and fines. That leaves an average of 20% of councils' revenue acquired through grant processes. Because 96.6% of total tax revenue goes to State and Federal Governments, it's important that councils tap into these revenue streams to achieve the big changes they want in their region.
The four mayors for Greater Hobart recently announced their wish list for Greater Hobart's Federal grant process. Transport has to be at the forefront of any Greater Hobart plan. Poor transport networks and congestion slow everything down, they make our economy less efficient with more time wasted moving from point A to B, and they contribute to stress levels and cost of living. It is in everyone’s benefit to improve the Greater Hobart transport network.
$20 million to activate ferry services
Stations at: Bellerive, Lindisfarne, The Casino (Sandy Bay) and The DEC (Wilkinsons Point)
Hobart has a traffic problem and any solution that encourages some road users to take alternative transport is worthwhile of consideration. The River Derwent is one of our greatest assets in terms of its visual appeal, mental health benefits and recreational use but it is completely under utilised for transport. The river could be a highway for fast ferries, moving people about in comfort; efficiently and effectively. Ferry commuters are often some of the happiest commuters of all. There is no stress on a ferry, unlike being stuck in traffic, and the beauty of travelling on the River Derwent to and from work provides a great time to wind down and reflect, improving user's happiness. A comprehensive and cost effective ferry service with well thought out park and ride facilities is a must for Greater Hobart. The reduction in road users will also make the journey faster and easier for those who have to take the car. So its a win win. This is the number one priority for Federal Grants in my view. It's low hanging fruit so let's get on and build it.
Federal Labor commits! (8/4/22)
Ryan Posselt with Federal Shadow Minister for Cities & Urban Infrastructure, Andrew Giles after Federal Labor committed to $20 million for River Derwent ferries - 8th April 2022
$18 million for Greater Hobart active transport connecting network
We often think of active transport as cycling, running and walking. However, the increasing use of e-mobility or micro-mobility devices, such as e-scooters, One-Wheels, e-long boards, Big Wheels and e-bikes is changing the way people move around and use traditional active transport networks. Enhancing the network and ensuring safe passageway for these novel devices, will combine with falling micro-mobility prices and rising fuel prices to encourage more people off the road and onto these alternate transport devices. This benefits everyone. Its cheap and easy for the micro-mobility users and it frees up our road network for those that drive. It's a win win. I use many different forms of transport. I drive, I cycle and I own a scooter. Each has its place in my transport around the city and the change in use is noticeable when you frequent active transport corridors, like the intercity cycleway. I now pass many scooters, in particular on commutes up the intercity cycleway. So this is an important initiative. Remember the RACT believes that moving just 4% of road users to other forms of transport will significantly reduce congestion.
Activating the northern suburbs transit corridor
The northern suburbs transport corridor (the train line that runs adjacent to the intercity cycleway) has long been talked about as an important asset for easing traffic and providing affordable transport for people from the northern suburbs. Yet nothing ever seems to happen. The state government recently received an independent report from GHD that states that light rail is not an option in this corridor. That leaves two options on the table: A rapid transit bus route or a trackless tram system. I support trackless trams as they are forward looking technology. Some trackless trams are designed to carry in excess of 400 people and they can travel both on normal roads and on specialist corridors. This makes them flexible and fast. They are also electric, making them 100% green in this hydro powered state of ours. Regardless of which transport modality is chosen, this corridor needs to be used, it has sat sadly dormant for too long. Now is the time to build our future, lets make that happen, and use Federal grant funding to do so.
So, this Federal Election it is important that our councils’ leaders lobby the incoming government for funding for these crucial projects. It’s also important that you, as the voter, consider your vote and which candidates are most likely to provide funding for these crucial, future building projects. Every vote counts!