Hobart Airport’s $50 million new interchange faces a potential delay after local landowners threatened legal action to adapt the plans.
Greg Casimaty, who heads a consortium planning a multimillion-dollar development in the vicinity, said his project would be effectively locked out because there isn’t a two-way access road.
“We, like all Tasmanians, just want a fair go,” said Casimaty. “We had a proposal to do just that, but which has now been stonewalled by this government. We can only hope this incredibly obstinate attitude will change.”
Tasmania’s Department of State Growth rejected the complaint and said it had already “engaged extensively” with landowners “over a considerable period of time”.
The new interchange will replace the existing Hobart Airport roundabout with an overpass designed to reduce delays and improve safety.
The infrastructure, funded jointly by the federal and state government, began construction in late June after being announced back in 2016. It’s targeting a completion date of mid-2022.
Casimaty told The Mercury the government walked away from a compromise solution even though an agreement was close.
“We’re more than happy to pay our fair share, but the government needs to also be reasonable when it comes to an accurate cost for the roadworks needed to connect our property,” he said.
“By choosing to renege on their commitment and now abandoning negotiations, the government is treating us with contempt and riding roughshod over our rights as Tasmanians.
“Unfortunately, this means the airport interchange now again faces likely delay, with a planning appeal on 24 and 25 September, which could see the new design thrown out.
“What is worse is that this Liberal government was content to scuttle advanced negotiations between the Department of State Growth and the landowners, which would have resolved many of the issues despite its previous commitment to do otherwise.
“It broke its commitment on the pretext that because the landowners were appealing it could not talk, mediate or resolve the matter.”
Tasmania said the development was on track for its completion date and already provides “upgraded access” for the landowners.