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Building a Northern Suburbs rail link and rezoning land along the rail corridor for medium-density development would help solve Hobart’s traffic woes and boost the economy, Labor leader Rebecca White says.
The Opposition Leader announced the ALP would seek private operators to run a rail service along the existing rail corridor between Hobart and Bridgewater.
Labor already has committed $14 million for “make-ready” works on the rail link and said it would seek an operator to provide the service, including upgrading stations and providing the rolling stock.
“Rather than continuing to talk about this project or commissioning yet another report to shove in a bottom drawer, a Labor government will test the market to get a better understanding of the costs of construction and operating passenger rail, while ensuring the rail corridor stays in public ownership,” Ms White said.
“This is our chance to completely change Hobart’s Northern Suburbs to deliver affordable medium-density housing adjacent to the rail corridor with park-and-ride carparks as well as new retail and recreation precincts.
Ms White said the use of the rail corridor would create the opportunity to masterplan and rezone the existing Northern Suburbs rail corridor and open up the area for affordable medium-density housing.
“In terms of traffic congestion, Hobart is the second worst ranked city in the country behind Sydney,” Ms White said.
“In terms of housing affordability, our rental market has become unaffordable — placing huge hurdles in the path of families who want to break into the housing market — and the best solution to that is to increase the supply of land for medium-density residential development.”
This article first appeared on www.themercury.com.au
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