*Published in The Advocate Newspaper on 28/11/2022.
Remember getting on the train when you were a little kid?
The wind on your face as you chugged down the coastline. The sound of the engine and wheels on tracks.
Tassie doesn’t have many passenger trains anymore. And I think we’re missing out. Imagine sitting in style in a carriage a hundred years old. Tucking into our local food, beer and wine.
We need to stop tourists turning left on the Bass Highway and driving straight down to Launnie and Hobart. We’ve got a lot of great things happening on the Coast, but we need something to make a splash. And the Don River Railway is sitting right there, ready to expand.
It's going to cost money. The former federal Government promised $20million during the election, but they didn’t win. Now Federal Labor’s dodging the question on whether they’re going to stump up the cash.
Don River Railway wants to take passengers from Devonport to Penguin. To do this they need money to connect the tracks to the mainline. They’ll build a cafe, restaurant and event facility. A shiny new visitor center, so tourists can learn about the history of the railway, and all about steam trains. There will be special play areas for the kids and tours of the workshop where they restore the old trains and carriages.
A passenger train will make tourists want to spend more nights on the coast. They’ll spend more money in our hotels, cafes, shops and markets.
This project is worth the funding. $20 million from the Government now will return over $40million back into the community in the next 10 years.
We know that the North-West Coast has a lot to offer. A passenger train between Devonport and Penguin would be the icing on the cake.
Tasmanian Labor Senators should be all over this. They’ve seen the potential. This proposal would bring the region along in leaps and bounds. I know they say money is tight at the moment, but their job is to advocate for projects in our state. This is a damn good idea and should receive support.
I know I’ll be the first one lining up for the trip from Devonport.