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Thursday, February 09, 2006

MAYDENA HAULER UNDERWAY AT LAST

The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed the long awaited commencement of the Maydena Hauler, which will provide the Derwent Valley with a significant new tourism experience when completed, but pointed out that the State Government has still not provided a commitment to the Derwent Railway which is currently unable to run trains on the Derwent Valley line.

Greens Member for Lyons, Tim Morris MHA, said that Derwent Valley Railway is a vital part of regional tourism in the Valley, and would be an integral part of the rail theme, upon which the Maydena Hauler is based.

“While the Greens support the Hauler concept, I note that the price tag for the Maydena Hauler has gone from $6 million to $8 million but apparently not a cent is available for the Derwent Valley Railway Preservation Society to run trains,” Mr Morris said.

“I call on the State Labor Government to provide interim funding to the Derwent Valley Railway Preservation Society in order for them to maintain their existing programs at New Norfolk until the state-wide issue with Pacific National is resolved.”

“The commencement of the Hauler gives Derwent Valley residents some hope that the Government will recognise the importance of the Railway Line to tourism, and potentially freight, and come to its senses and provide some funding to ensure trains can start operating again.”

“The Greens recognise that a restored Derwent Valley railway to Maydena will complement the state investment into the Hauler project, and in our Alternative Budget we identified an additional $250 000 to go towards ensuring the railway’s viability.”

“The construction of the Hauler will provide an economic boost to the Valley with the arrival of contractors who need local accommodation and hopefully will employ a number of locals in the immediate and long-term,” Mr Morris said.

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