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TASMANIA is seeking nearly $900 million from federal coffers for new road and rail projects.
The wishlist includes $240 million to upgrade railway tracks, $128 million to improve safety on the Midland Highway and $142 million for a Perth bypass and associated works linking the Bass and Midland highways.
Twenty-two projects worth $895 million have been proposed in the State Government's submission for the next round of federal infrastructure funding Nation Building 2 which covers the five years from July 1, 2014.
State Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne, right, said he was hopeful of securing most of the new money.
In the first round Nation Building 1 Tasmania secured more than $800 million for projects such as the Kingston and Brighton bypasses.
"We were pretty successful with the last round but it is a very competitive process," Mr O'Byrne said.
The bulk of the spending, $618 million, would streamline freight transport flows, particularly along the Burnie to Hobart corridor but also for the mines and growing salmon industry on the West Coast.
Smaller amounts would help upgrade the eastern approaches to the Tasman Bridge, parts of the Brooker Highway, the West Coast's Murchison Highway and the Huon Highway-Summerleas Rd intersection.
The submission also included public transport projects.
Civil Contractors Federation state chief executive Tony Cook said his industry was doing it tough and more infrastructure spending could not come soon enough.
"It would give the industry a sense of sustainability," he said.
"In the last round, the money came all in one hit and, along with the federal stimulus money, it put our industry on a high but we fell off it dramatically.
"Companies had to make workers redundant and some companies moved interstate.
"If we don't get some boost we run the risk of losing capacity and skills."
Northern Midlands Council deputy mayor David Downie said the Perth bypass and upgrades to the Midland Highway between Perth and Launceston would improve the economic wellbeing of the region.
"It will take a bottleneck out of the road to Launceston," he said.
"It will also help the transport hub around Launceston airport, which has taken off in the past 10 years and has attracted $1 billion of investment from wind farm manufacturing to the supermarket distribution centre."
Federal Community Services Minister and Member for Franklin Julie Collins said the submission was "a very significant ask".
"I will be doing everything I can to ensure Tasmania gets the best possible deal," she said.
This article first appeared on www.themercury.com.au
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