West Coast residents severely impacted by cuts to bus services to Hobart
- Government cuts crucial bus service on the West Coast
- Students and residents needing medical care impacted by the decision
- Petition calls for the service to be urgently reinstated
The Hodgman Liberal Government’s decision to cut public bus services between Strahan, Queenstown and Hobart may have serious implications for West Coast residents, particularly students and those needing medical treatment.
Labor Member for Braddon, Anita Dow, tabled a petition in Parliament today signed by 814 people from the West Coast, calling for the service to be reinstated.
“Regular, flexible options linking small towns and major cities are very important, particularly when it comes to access for medical treatment or other services in major centres that are not available locally,” Ms Dow said.
“The Strahan, Queenstown and Hobart service abruptly ended on March 10 without appropriate consultation with the community.
“State Growth offered a replacement service but this is inadequate as it would require a one-way journey of more than 30 hours travel at a cost of $80.
“As this service requires a minimum overnight stay in either Burnie or Devonport, passengers would also need to pay accommodation costs.
“Under this service, a return journey from Hobart to Queenstown and Strahan would take four days which is totally unacceptable.
“My colleague Shane Broad and I met with affected residents in Queenstown a couple of weeks ago to hear their concerns.
“In one example, a student travelling to Hobart for University would now be required to travel from Queenstown to Burnie, stay overnight, and then travel to Hobart. Which results in a 36-hour one-way trip.
“Our West Coast communities have seen a lot of change over the years with many services being down-sized or no longer being provided.
“The bus service to Hobart is yet another example of this which for locals means not getting home from University for the weekend or a very long overnight trip for a 30 minute appointment in Hobart.
“There must be a better way and I’m committed to working with the West Coast community to plan for the future.”
Anita Dow MP
Labor Member for Braddon