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Key Tasman Highway duplication project near Sorell facing further delays until 2025

Pulse Tasmania
The Tasman Highway at the Tasmania Golf Club. Image / Pulse

The “number one bottleneck” for infrastructure projects around the country is being blamed for the latest delay in duplicating a key 1.7 km stretch of the Tasman Highway.

Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson says the road between the Hobart Airport roundabout and the first Sorell causeway has been delayed because State Growth has had to “go back to the drawing board” with new designs over environmental issues.

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“It is taking a long time. I have been very vocal about this, not only with my own department but importantly with stakeholders as well,” he said.

“Impacts on both the Tasmania Golf Club’s course and environmental values within both the road reserve and the private properties are being carefully considered again.”

Michael Ferguson. Image / Pulse

He admitted work on the project, first promised over five years ago, won’t start until 2025 at the earliest, subject to environmental approvals.

Independent Franklin MP David O’Byrne said the “massive chokepoint” continues to be a frustration for commuters.

South East Traffic Solution – Completed, Current and Future Projects. Image / State Growth

“After spending more than five years on this project, this government still have no finalised plan, no finalised development application and they haven’t even gone through all the required environmental approvals with the federal government,” O’Byrne said.

“First publicly announced in 2020, it was supposed to be complete in 2022. In 2023, Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson claimed it would be complete by the middle of this year.”

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Ferguson pointed to delays with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and said a referral under the act was submitted in September 2020.

“[This] lays false the claim that that work has not commenced,” Ferguson said, a comment O’Byrne labelled “dishonest”.

“It is the state government’s complete bungling of this project and the approvals processes that has meant this project has gone nowhere in half a decade,” O’Byrne said.

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