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Budget 2006: $60 million for East Tamar Highway upgrade.

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Tuesday, 9 May 2006

The East Tamar Highway will receive an upgrade to the value of $60 million.

Federal Member for Bass Michael Ferguson said that the delivery of the funds in tonight’s budget means a new future for transport in the region.

“This announcement is clearly the most significant highway funding for Northern Tasmanian in decades,” he said.

“This work will mean that the East Tamar Highway will be much safer and will provide a more efficient journey for thousands of motorists. With the likelihood of a pulp mill at Bell Bay, we can also be confident of much more suitable conditions for

an increase in log truck movements and additional commuter traffic.”

Mr Ferguson said the issue of an upgraded highway has been significant in his time as a member of the Federal Government.

“I am looking forward to now playing a key role in the development and planning of the new-look highway,” he said.

“The upgrade from Launceston to Bell Bay will have great benefits for commuters and East Tamar residents alike.

“Dilston is a prime example of a community which will be assisted as the new highway will bypass that town. I know from community consultation that speed and traffic noise is a major concern for Dilston residents, so I am confident they will welcome this news.”

The $60 million funding is part of the AusLink programme which continues to deliver for state-owned roads in Tasmania, despite AusLink being constantly criticised by Labor.

Mr Ferguson said that he would be securing a commitment for construction to begin as soon as practical.