RECENTLY I attended a presentation by Deloitte Access Economics in New Norfolk to discuss the Jefferys Track feasibility study. There has been talk over 100-plus years about a possible link road between Crabtree
and Lachlan via Jefferys Track, and the two councils have commissioned a study to determine once and for all if it was feasible.
It was stressed during the Deloitte presentation: their brief was only to assess the viability of the a link road. Four options were identified:
1. An industry road from Crabtree to Lachlan (to reduce the number of heavy vehicles going through Hobart). Estimated cost up to $300 million. Not feasible because of the difficult terrain.
2. Sealed commuter road from Mitchells Rd to Lachlan for light vehicles – estimated cost up to $100 million. It was noted by Deloitte that the total state roads budget was $120 million, so there was not a high 3. probability of the government agreeing to spend 80 per cent of its budget on one road.
3. Upgraded 4wd track for emergency services use – estimated cost $4.5-5 million.
4. Do nothing – Leave Jefferys track as it is.
Deloitte has received about 500 online responses so far to its survey – 400 from Huon Valley residents and 100 from the Derwent Valley. At the meeting, Lachlan residents expressed concern about the impact on Lachlan Rd and residents if Option 2 was adopted. When the link was first raised years ago Lachlan was a small mainly farming community. Now there are considerably more residents including many commuters.
I raised the issue of the Plenty Link Rd which I and some others have used to go to and from the Huon. I also noted that logs going to the Boyer Mill once went by rail via Karanja and asked why this still wasn’t the case, especially as all Boyer’s softwood plantations were in that area.
Deloitte said they would present their findings in October. If a link road via Jefferys was not found to be feasible that would be the end of the matter. If further action was recommended, the councils would then need to consult with the State Government.
MARK BENNETT, LACHLAN