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Hidding abandons Hobart ferry plan two months after it was announced

  • Ferry plan announced during Pembroke by-election “not government policy”
  • Metro never involved in planning despite Pembroke announcement using Metro logo

The Hodgman Liberal Government has distanced itself from a plan to run commuter ferries on the Derwent River which was announced during the Pembroke by-election campaign.

Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding told GBE hearings today that the plan floated by Liberal candidate James Walker and announced side-by-side with the Premier was “James Walker’s idea” and “not a policy”.

Shadow Infrastructure Minister Shane Broad said the so-called “high-frequency, fast ferry service” between Bellerive and the city announced on October 12 was clearly never seriously on the Hodgman Government’s agenda.

“Despite lofty artist’s impressions depicting a ferry carrying Metro signage, it appears this was nothing more than a candidate’s thought bubble,” Dr Broad said.

“It’s been abandoned along with Mr Walker and any ideas he may have had.

“Will Hodgman stood beside his Pembroke candidate backing in the plan and giving the clear impression that ferries were part of his government’s transport plan.

“Mr Hidding today conceded that this plan had no input from Metro, despite the fact that when it was released in October, it included extensive detail about terminal infrastructure, ticket pricing and future expansion plans.

“But it’s now just as clear there is no plan because the Liberals have no solution to help alleviate Hobart’s or Tasmania’s serious traffic congestion issues.”