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Monday, 16 November 2009
Page: 11822

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (7:21 PM) —Good evening, colleagues. May I commend the member for Oxley and all those others who have spoken on this recreation, wellbeing, health topic of shared pathways and bikeways. I could not think of a better place on earth to have a linear bikeway than between Latrobe on the north-west coast of Tassie—paralleling Bass Strait, all our rivers and all our townships, by the way—right the way through to Wynyard, which would be about 100 kilometres of magnificent bike track. We are actually on the way to achieving that through terrific collaboration between our local councils, the state government and, especially, the federal government. I do want to thank the federal government for its contribution. We have allocated about $3 million so far to shared pathways along the north-west coast and also into Strahan and Tullah on the west coast, which is now part of my electorate of Braddon.

Devonport itself has magnificent pathways already along the beautiful Mersey River—on the Victoria Parade—and parallels Bass Strait before going on to the Don River and back to Bass Strait. It is absolutely magnificent there. What we would like to do is to join that up with a place called Turners Beach, which is a little further along the coast, and then into Ulverstone. At the last election we committed nearly $800,000 to a bikeway between Turners Beach—a beautiful coastal residential and holiday area—and Ulverstone, which is by the beautiful Leven River. That is nearing completion now, so people will not have to make the dangerous journey along the highway. They will be able to take a cycle path and walk their way from Turners Beach into Ulverstone—a lot of people live at Turners Beach—and enjoy the pathways which already exist in Ulverstone.

Then if we take a couple of hundred more steps, wouldn’t it be magnificent to have a bikeway into the beautiful township of Penguin, which is on Bass Strait? But our next allocation—a total of $1.78 million—is to Burnie itself, for a bikeway from Emu River at a little section called Wivenhoe, right the way through to Cooee, which has a very Australian name. It will go right through to Burnie, which has totally re-invigorated itself after the decline of the pulp mill and has really invested in its future and its people. It is a vibrant city now and I would love to get Peter Garrett back to enable him to sing and talk about the cleanest city in Australia rather than the dirtiest. Anyway, Pete, take that on notice! It is a terrific bikeway that is going to be developed there. Then, if you go to Somerset—again, it is by Bass Strait—you find a beautiful little township. We allocated $200,000 there for a wonderful community bike path, particularly giving access to people in wheelchairs. It also has terrific fitness equipment along the way.

To complement all this, you then move onto the magnificent township of Wynyard. It is great to doorknock there, because it is flat. Wynyard is a beautiful place by the Inglis River. It also borders Bass Strait. We have allocated $139,000 to extend some of the tracks there. Then you make your way down to the west coast—and hopefully those who have bought raffle tickets in my raffle will win a ticket down there—to Strahan, a beautiful, cosmopolitan and international town with great access to the south-west and the Franklin. We are allocating $300,000 to Strahan to develop a bike path there. And then there is the little tucked away township called Tullah. It is often forgotten about. It has the Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway, a fantastic ride. We have allocated some money, with the council, who are putting in something like $900,000 overall, for the development of shared pathways.

The story here is that pathways are the go. That is quite a good slogan—if you want to use it, you can. They are great for recreation and great for well being. Importantly, they are great for the community. Do you know what? Not only are we reclaiming our waterways and our rivers now but also reclaiming our communities by being together, getting out and saying hello and how do you do. You cannot experience that better than by coming to Braddon on the north-west coast of Tassie and the west coast. And I forgot King Island: they have got some funding, too.