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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8309

National Highway

Under federation, the colonies were to be integrated into a national economy through the movement of both people and freight. A Federal equalisation scheme, making Bass Strait part of the National Highway, was introduced in 1996. Despite massive infrastructure funding, obtained by two public campaigns, Tasmania is not integrated. The movement of people by sea is being unreasonably restricted, while freight is equalized. As principle lobbyist, I have heard no valid reason for corrupting such a well supported critical transport scheme. Our proposal, under consideration by the PM's office, would extend the Hume Highway overnight from Sydney through Melbourne, then by ferry to Northern Tasmania and overland to Hobart. The Prime Minister can transform at least two state economies overnight without building one kilometre of new highway. In the absence of sea-based competition, a simple adjustment of passenger fares will meet national highway equalisation and community service obligations, and also efficiently use shipping. Otherwise, by restricting people, massive social and economic loss is being incurred along the trillion dollar Hume transport corridor. Sound national infrastructure objectives should never be displaced, favoring the contrary needs of a few special interest groups in Tasmania. Adjustment of our equalization scheme by insiders leaves people and businesses with little hope, without the Prime Minister's strong intervention, of maintaining our mandated national objective.

This petition from Peter Brohier requests the House to ask the Prime Minister to equalize the ongoing cost of Bass Strait passenger ferry travel to the cost of travel on interstate highways.

from 1 citizen (Petition No. PN0363)