The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to delivering Tasmania’s future needs, and I am pleased to announce that Metro Tasmania will be seeking Expressions of Interest in July from major bus manufacturers to build the new fleet of 100 new buses.
This process will see bus manufacturers engaging with Tasmania’s advanced manufacturing industry with the view to having them built in Tasmania, which will provide jobs for Tasmanians while delivering on our commitment to replace the ageing fleet.
This 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.
Therefore it is disappointing, but not surprising, that Labor is opposed to our plan to deliver the new fleet of buses.
They are still weak and captive to the Greens, as evidenced by their transport minister explicitly ruling out diesel buses and saying they will only look at electric.
There is no electric bus in the world yet made that can handle Tasmanian conditions, which is not to say it won’t be available in the future, but unlike Labor we will do the responsible thing and keep an open mind when the decision is made on what technology is used.
Our commitment to the new buses is fully funded in the budget as opposed to Labor’s continual uncosted, unaffordable sham policies. The Government has done in two years what Labor failed to do in 16, and that is getting on with the job of providing for Tasmania’s transport future.