Focus on 10 years of growth

THE South-Central Sub-Region, of which the Derwent Valley, Central Highlands and Brighton municipalities are members, has released a report to highlight infrastructure needs over the next decade.

Prepared by KPMG, the report is also backed by the Southern Midlands Council and highlights expected growing pains over the next 10 years. Brighton Mayor Leigh Gray, who chairs the SCS, said the report was key to ensuring future investment in infrastructure to support each councils’ growth.

“We know that there will be growing pains, opportunities and infrastructure needs in the coming decade for the whole region and we wanted to clearly name these up and prioritise projects and initiatives based on a solid strategic approach to planning and infrastructure,’’ Mr Gray said. “Most importantly the report has highlighted some key future projects and initiatives for our region to focus on, including the increasingly significant freight route between the Brighton Hub, Cambridge and the Hobart Airport.

“This is emerging as a state significant freight route and core to Tasmania’s industrial network, fundamental to industrial growth and export opportunity. “The study recommends the State Government take over ownership of this route and upgrade it to make it more viable as a key freight route, which will also take heavy vehicles out of the city and could form part of the Hobart City Deal.”

He said the report sets out the key investments needed by all three tiers of government over the coming decade to support the changing communities and to support the significant residential growth and business and industrial investment. “We also know how important social infrastructure will be to support our growing communities, including childcare centres, medical services, parks, playgrounds, education facilities and sporting facilities,” Mr Gray said.

“The report has highlighted the need for some practical improvements to facilitate business and development in our region. “The Southern Tasmania Regional Land Use Strategy is in urgent need of renewal to ensure growth is properly planned, steered to the best locations and prepared for with appropriate infrastructure.

“An improved headworks system for sewer and water to make development more equitable and remove hurdles for particularly residential subdivisions, supporting the growing tourism and agriculture sectors, and addressing the remaining communication blackspots within the region emerge as other critical issues. “As a sub-region, our four councils work collaboratively whenever it makes sense to do so, in the interests of our communities.”