Federal Election 2022 Priorities
Sorell Council 13 May 2022

Posted on 13 May 2022

Advocating for our community

With a Federal election only a week away, its timely we provide an update on the work we’ve been doing over recent years to secure Government funding for infrastructure in our community.

The Sorell Municipality remains one of Tasmania’s fastest growing Municipalities, with recent growth exceeding state averages, and forecast growth to 2038 continuing at more than five times the state average per annum. This strong growth puts a small Council like ours, with limited resources, under a great deal of pressure. We have a flourishing community with increasing requirements for physical and social infrastructure.

Council’s membership of the South East Region Development Association (SERDA) and its focus on evidence based approaches to identifying infrastructure and service needs for the wider south-east region have driven these priorities. Council is focused on being cost effective and maximising long-term sustainability by increasing capacity and broadening usage of our existing assets.

Council identifies the following priority regional strengthening projects to support the needs and requirements of our growing community and the broader south-east region and has been lobbying our politicians and political parties for funding for these over recent months:

SERDA Jobs Hubs – Council sought a commitment of $1.5 million to construct a purpose built facility to accommodate the SERDA Jobs Hub in Sorell to allow SERDA to expand their activities in training local people for local industry and jobs. In April we secured $1.5 million in funding to construct the Jobs Hub. Both Liberal and Labor Federal parties made election promises to the project, but the current Government announced the funding commitment to make the Hub a reality.

Sorell Men’s Shed & Multi-Use Facility – Council seeks a commitment of $1.5 million to relocate the Sorell Men’s Shed to a purpose built community facility in Montagu Street which would also provide amenities for the adjacent Horse Riding Club.

Community Cultural Precinct – Council seeks a commitment of $2.5 million to construct the community cultural centre in Station Lane. Works include restoration of the heritage listed Rail Shed and removal of Men’s Shed and Lions buildings, as well as development of Community Cultural facilities.

Sorell Streetscape Upgrade – Projects identified as key elements of the Streetscape upgrade include three gateway sites, increasing mixed-use development, creation of a civic heart including use of Fitzroy Street for night markets and improved pedestrian accessibility and amenity. Costings for these key projects are currently being finalised.

Sorell Memorial Hall Upgrade – Council seeks a commitment of $780,000 to construct an extension to the Hall to provide a secure location and storage facilities for History Society documentation and valuables, multi-use storage space and change rooms for local dance and theatre groups. Brian Mitchell and the Federal Labor Party has committed $310,000 to the upgrade if elected to Government.

Much work goes into developing these projects to ensure they are at a standard ready to lobby the Government for funding. Concept plans, preliminary designs, site assessments, costings and consultation with user groups are all required to be undertaken beforehand. Furthermore, we need to provide evidence of our community’s demand and requirement for the infrastructure, as well as evidence of how Council can sustainably afford to maintain it.

Council staff and Councillors, led by General Manager Robert Higgins and Mayor Kerry Vincent, have worked effectively and diligently over many years to build relationships with our local politicians and Government Agencies and build the case for our advocacy efforts.  The level of funding directed to our region over the last five years has made us the envy of most other regional areas in the State.

Funding and investment our community has received from State and Federal Governments over the past few years includes:

The South East Traffic Solution (comprising the Hobart Airport Interchange project, upgrade of the Tasman Highway near Tasmania Golf Club, the Midway Point project, overtaking lanes on the Arthur Highway at Ironstone Creek, Southern Sorell bypass and the duplication of the Sorell Causeways).Increased bus servicesThe redevelopment of Sorell SchoolConstruction of the Sorell Emergency Services HubPembroke Park StadiumPembroke Park Function CentreBMX TrackExtension of the South East Irrigation SchemeDevelopment of SERDA Workforce Development ProgramCarlton Park Surf Life Saving ClubVulnerable road users grant programs for a range of road safety projects principally focusing on pedestrian safety.

Investment and spending by all levels of Government helps increase confidence of private enterprise and encourages them to invest in our community through their various projects.