Hobart city deal funding uncertain beyond Bridgewater Bridge pledge
Federal Cities Minister Alan Tudge has not guaranteed any federal funding will be attached to the Hobart city deal before the federal election, aside from the $461 million already announced to replace the Bridgewater Bridge.
Mr Tudge was in Hobart yesterday to meet with Greater Hobart mayors and Treasurer Peter Gutwein as the three levels of government move closer to announcing the details of a city deal.
When asked what new funding would be included in the deal and whether any additional funding would be attached before the federal election, Mr Tudge repeatedly referred to $461 million in funding for the Bridgewater Bridge replacement, which was announced prior to the federal budget earlier this year.
“That was a very significant funding commitment already from the Federal Government, and it is part of the city deal,” he said.
“The rest of the details will be in the final copy of the city deal.”
Mr Tudge emphasised a city deal was about enabling the three tiers of government to work together to see projects realised.
He said the final agreement was expected to be signed by the end of the year or early next year.
He would not be drawn on whether funding for light rail would be part of the deal, but said the deal would include transport, housing and Macquarie Point.
A Hobart city deal would mostly involve projects in the federal electorates of Denison (soon to be renamed Clark) and Franklin, where independent Andrew Wilkie and Labor’s Julie Collins have strong support respectively.
The final Hobart city deal should be signed within months, says Alan Tudge. (AAP: Julian Smith)
The only project with funding attached so far, the Bridgewater Bridge, is in Lyons, where the Liberals believe they have a better chance at the upcoming election.
Mr Gutwein said the city deal was a long-term vision that would be implemented over 10 years.
He would not say what his funding priorities were, or when he was expecting more investments.
“This is not a Christmas stocking,” he said.
“What this will do is provide the framework for the three levels of government to work collaboratively together to achieve significant outcomes for not just Hobart but for the greater Hobart region.
“Funding commitments will be made not just as a part of the signing of the deal but as part of coming budgets, and not just over 12 months but over future years as well.”
Including bridge funding in deal challenged
Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said she was concerned the Bridgewater Bridge funding would be included in the city deal.
She said Tasmanians were expecting a substantial investment in public, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure as part of any deal reached.
“If the Liberal state and federal governments think that they can engage in these city deal negotiations in a political and ad hoc way, and try to pass off something like a Bridgewater Bridge upgrade as part of the city deal, they need to think again,” she said.
Labor MP David O’Byrne said Tasmanians were desperately calling for state and federal governments to resolve traffic issues across the network.
“If they think that the Bridgewater Bridge is the way to resolve traffic issues in the south they are sadly mistaken,” he said.
Mr Wilkie met with Mr Tudge about the deal yesterday and said additional funding had not been discussed.
“There’s no discussion of dollars at this point, other than to say the Federal Government and the Minister do regard the new Bridgewater Bridge as being part of a city deal, and part of a future transport strategy,” he said.