Government Pledges $1.43bn for Hobart City Deal


Hobart's $1.43 billion city deal, which aims to address congestion, boost Antarctic research and deliver more international flights, has been signed to a mixed reception around the state and nation.

The deal, which will rely on collaboration between all three levels of government, will aim to help the state get ahead of population growth, congestion and housing affordability.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison signed off on the package in Hobart on Sunday which will provide upwards of $1.43 billion in federal funding, most of which will be dedicated to the already announced $576 million Bridgewater Bridge.

It includes $30 million for affordable housing, which will build 130 dwellings in Greater Hobart.

Boarder protection services at the airport will receive an $82 million injection and introduce the ability to welcome direct international flights by 2020.

The fund will bolster services, including immigration, customs and bio­security, at the increasingly busy airport, located 17 kilometres east of Hobart.

Tasmania is currently experiencing 20 per cent year-on-year growth in international tourist numbers, mainly from Asia, despite the lack of direct flights from overseas.

Related: Keep Up: Infrastructure Failing to Keep Pace with Demand for Housing

 The Hobart City Deal, a ten-year funding arrangement between federal, state and local government, will aim to limit congestion in Hobart.
The Hobart City Deal, a ten-year funding arrangement between federal, state and local government, will aim to limit congestion in Hobart.Image: Hobart City Deal

Congestion and improvement to transport across Greater Hobart will be addressed through a $105.5 million commitment towards the northern suburbs transit corridor.

Other elements of the city deal, include the promise of an Antarct­ic science hub at the city’s waterfront Macquarie Point precinct, which will be converted from a former rail yard on Hobart's waterfront.

A total of $450 million in funding will be provided for Antarctic research stations and logistics.

The initiative will help Tasmania tap into a $200 million a year market, taking advantage of its unique position as the gateway to Antarctic.

However, the deal failed to mention funding for a light rail service to Hobart’s north.

It also neglected to mention the possibility of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics university centre which had been earmarked for city's CBD.

“It is great to see the turnaround not only in the economy but the population of Tasmania and that requires us to invest and that is exactly what we are doing,” Prime minister Scott Morrison told reporters.

“The deal is about driving investment into the city to make it an even better place to live and work.”

Since the announcement Labor has criticised the deal for lacking detail, re-hashing old announcements and failure to introduce funding for light-rail service in Hobart's north.

In 2017, fellow Tasmanian city Launceston had its city deal signed, which included $280 million in funding contributions for projects.

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