Media Release: 23rd October 2009

Kingston Bypass – At What Climate Cost?

Climate Action Hobart today called upon the Bartlett Government to reveal the cost to the climate of the $44 million Kingston Bypass project.

Climate Action Hobart spokesperson, Phil Harrington, said today, “The Government committed to undertaking a climate change impact assessment of all proposals requiring Cabinet approval after 1 July this year. We are calling for the details of the climate assessment of the Kingston Bypass to be released to the public immediately.”

The Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal will next week hear an appeal lodged by concerned Hobart resident, Greg Clausen, against the Kingborough Council’s planning approval for the Bypass project. The grounds of appeal include the absence of a proper assessment of the project’s impact on a safe climate or on sustainable development – a key stated objective of the Kingborough planning scheme.

“Climate Action Hobart supports this appeal”, Mr Harrington said. “It is well understood that bypasses only induce greater car use, leading to more emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, while increasing our dependence on a dwindling global supply of foreign oil. The relief of congestion will be temporary at best, as residential development will sprawl throughout the Channel area. The only beneficiaries of this sprawl are the property developers, while productive farming land will be lost”, said Mr Harrington.

Climate Action Hobart notes there are many sustainable transport alternatives to the Bypass that have not been given serious consideration. These include decent footpaths, dedicated cycling lanes, an affordable and quality bus service, a park and ride facility, dedicated high-occupancy/transit (HOT) lanes on the Southern Outlet, improved zoning and land use planning in Kingston to minimise travel demands and more.

“A bypass is a poor solution”, said Mr Harrington. “It values a safe climate at zero while encouraging private car use that is simply not sustainable into the future. This is not sustainable development”.

Greg Clausen will be convening a Kingston Bypass Community Walk this Sunday 25 October, starting at 3pm at Spring Farm Road, Kingston, to protest the Bypass project. All are welcome. More information on Climate Action Hobart is an independent community-based organisation dedicated to a safe climate for everyone.