26th May, 2016
Rene Hidding, Minister for Infrastructure
The Hodgman Liberal Government has put the Budget, and the State, back on track after two years of strong majority Government and we are now focused on providing essential services that will secure Tasmania’s future needs.
The 2016-17 Budget will deliver 100 new buses for Metro Tasmania, with $31 million committed over four years to implement the Metro Bus Fleet Initiative.
The represents the single biggest investment in public transport in Tasmania’s history and highlights our commitment to providing a sustainable public transport system for Tasmanians both now and in the future.
It will also deliver increased accessibility options, culminating in a 100 per cent Disability Discrimination Act compliant fleet by 2022.
Our $31 million commitment fixes another problem left by the former government which talked big about the need for sustainable transport options, but did nothing to plan for the replacement of the ageing fleet.
Older buses are more costly to run, are worse for the environment, and require more time off the road receiving maintenance, and it has taken a majority Liberal Government in Tasmania to set out a proper plan for their replacement.
The Metro Bus Fleet Initiative will also provide an opportunity for Tasmania's advanced manufacturing sector to bid for construction, customisation and fit out work to deliver an accelerated replacement Metro Tasmania bus fleet.
The Metro Bus Infrastructure capital initiative will provide equity payments to assist with the financing and acquisition of 100 new buses over four years.
In addition to front ending the current $3.25 million annual renewal payment we will be delivering a further $4.5 million over each of the next four years, delivering the total of $31 million.