Tasman Highway 'Sideling' Upgrade
An election commitment has secured $40 million in Federal Government funding which, matched with State Government funding, will provide $50 million towards a significant upgrading of the Tasman Highway between Minstone Road and St Patricks River.
The objective of the project is to upgrade approximately 24km of the Tasman Highway including the notorious “Sideling” to allow for heavy vehicle usage, transforming the Tasman Highway into the preferred freight route to Launceston. The upgrade will see the straightening of the existing alignment, widening of the road pavement, and the addition of passing lanes and slow vehicle turn out points.
In addition to the obvious benefits to residents of the North East through improved road infrastructure, this project will be the most significant inter-generational investment in the region to date unlocking the potential of the North East, leveraging off the significant investment in irrigation schemes in the region. The project will also provide significant benefit to the City of Launceston by taking the North East freight off the northern outlet and out of Bathurst and Patterson Streets and will provide an improved access route through to the east coast via the Dorset municipality.
The project will be delivered in two stages:
- Stage 1 | Section 1 is 4.55km and starts from the intersection of the Tasman Highway and the access road (550m south-east of the Sideling Lookout) to the intersection of the Tasman Highway and Whish-Wilson Road.
- Stage 1 | Section 2 is 10.61km and starts from the intersection of Whish-Wilson Road to the intersection of East/West Minstone Roads.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works were engaged to review the project and conducted their inquiry during December 2021 and January 2022, with their final report available to read here in full.
To view the plans and read other information on the upgrade, visit the Tasmanian Government Transport Services website here.
Updated March 2022
North East Rail Trail
At the November 2018 Council Meeting, Council resolved to confirm its commitment to the construction of the North East Rail Trail. Council also publicly stated its support of the eminently sensible compromise position of the State Government which would see the Rail Trail commence in Lilydale and join up with the existing 17km Rail Trail in Scottsdale. This compromise position provides the heritage rail advocates with the opportunity to realise their vision of a heritage rail which would operate between Lilydale and Launceston (or Coldwater Creek).
Dorset Council lodged a development application for the section of trail within the Dorset municipality (Wyena to Scottsdale) in December 2020, with a decision to approve the application made at the February 2021 Council Meeting. This decision was subject to an appeal which was undertaken through the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (TASCAT) during 2021. A final decision was made by TASCAT in favour of Dorset Council (applicant) and subsequently a revised planning permit was issued in December 2021.
Council are currently finalising documentation to lodge a planning application with the City of Launceston for the section of the trail located in their municipality (Wyena to Lilydale Falls).
Updated March 2022
Bridport Marine Zone Master Plan
In late 2018, Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) commissioned a Bridport Foreshore Master Plan to provide a community-led master plan for the Bridport foreshore that provides recommendations on the future of infrastructure and opportunities with better access and improved amenity to the foreshore/waterways including: assessment for a new Bridport pier including recreational boating access, improved boat ramps, parking and launching facilities, and improved access to the port of Bridport. Burbury Consulting were engaged to consult with local stakeholders and interested residents to identify potential locations as well as infrastructure requirements for new and/or improved marine facilities. This consultation included community engagement sessions and formation of a project Working Group to develop, discuss and formulate opportunities for design development and investigations, site assessments and specific area studies, engineering design assessments, project costings and development of a business case for the proposed master plan with recommendations.
In January 2022, MAST released the completed Bridport Foreshore Master Plan to the public, and it can be downloaded in full below.
Updated January 2022