Sunday, July 28, 2013

Feds to fund tourist road feasibility

THE Federal Government will fund a feasibility study into turning the Plenty Valley Link Rd into a tourist link connecting the Huon and Derwent Valleys. The $100,000 study was the only council project in the two municipalities to receive a share of the $100 million "Tasmanian jobs and growth" package announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Launceston on Thursday.

Both councils submitted a raft of proposals for consideration and Huon Valley mayor Robert Armstrong in particular was disappointed with the outcome while still welcoming the Plenty Valley Link Rd project which had been put forward by both councils.

The funding announcement came a day after a Greens election candidate expressed her party's support for the project to improve the link between the two valleys and create a tourist loop.

Federal Member for Lyons Dick Adams said 31 projects across the state had been selected from 400 applications and were chosen for their job-creating ability. In Lyons, nine were chosen and they were:
  • Huon Aquaculture, Construct processing facility at Parramatta Creek ($3.5 million);
  • Elphinstone and Tasrail, Triabunna Manufacturing Jobs Initiative - 'Tasrailer' Container  Frames, ($1 million);
  • Tasmanian Wood Panels, Energy Reduction Project and Reopen Particle Board Plant ($1.305 million);
  • Tassal, Tasmanian Fish Protein and Oil Facility Triabunna ($3.85 million);
  • Derwent Valley Council,  Plenty Link Road ($0.1 million);
  • Reid Fruits, Cherry Packhouse Development ($0.5 million);
  • Hugh Mackinnon, Strawberry Production Site ($0.4 million);           
  • Fly Fishing Museum ($0.261 million).

Mr Adams said he was surprised that councils in his electorate had been critical of the announcement when they had already had received additional funds totalling $1,454,350 from Commonwealth last month, including:
  • Break O’Day Council: $112,526
  • Brighton Council: $112,981
  • Central Highlands Council: $88,083
  • Derwent Valley Council: $123,802
  • Glamorgan Spring Bay Council: $61,471
  • Kentish Council: $135,285
  • Meander Valley Council: $172,661
  • Northern Midlands Council: $143,490
  • Sorell Council: $154,178
  • Southern Midlands Council: $151,629
  • Tasman Council: $69,397
  • West Tamar Council: $128,847
“It would have been impossible to fund all the proposals that people had,” Mr Adams said. “Some looked very similar but needed a bit more work on them and others may not have given jobs in the long term.”

He said the enthusiasm shown and the ideas put forward were very encouraging for Tasmania. “These projects should be pursued further to be funded in the ongoing rounds of Commonwealth funded grant programs, such as the Innovation Investment Fund and Regional Tourism and Infrastructure fund; through State Government programs and through private investment or raise some funds for themselves through ordinary business avenues.

“This is just the start to renew the Tasmanian economy and I know those who have been funded across the state will strive now to create the jobs we so desperately need," he said.

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