The Tasmanian Government has funded a feasibility study for the upgrade of Jefferys Track, which runs from Crabtree in the Huon Valley area to Lachlan in the Derwent Valley. The feasibility study will be led by the Huon Valley Council in collaboration with the Derwent Valley Council.
A transport link between the Huon and Derwent Valleys has potential to bring significant business, leisure and social benefits for our communities. In addition, the current state of Jefferys Track is problematic as it is impassable in places. A decision needs to be made on whether to maintain or upgrade the route, and whether it is a viable option to link the Valleys.
Deloitte Access Economics has been engaged to undertake consultation with key stakeholders and to deliver a cost-benefit analysis of options for upgrading Jefferys Track. Engineers GHD have also been engaged to identify and provide cost estimates of options for possible routes and road types.
Community and industry consultation will take place in the second half of 2020.
The aim of the consultation is to:
- Communicate and seek feedback on the possibility of development of Jefferys Track
- Understand community and industry opinions, concerns and ideas related to the possibility of development of the track
- Ascertain potential traffic flows
- Identify the costs and benefits of the potential development
Following some initial industry consultation, local communities will be invited to have input. Consultation for both stakeholder groups will include a series of interviews, workshops, public meetings, and an online survey.
Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw said that Derwent Valley Council supports the feasibility study with a strong focus on the consultation process.
“It would be fantastic to have better and easier access and a connection between the Huon and Derwent Valleys but we must make sure the industry stakeholders and communities at both ends are well-informed and have the opportunity for feedback and input along the way.
“The consultation is an important opportunity to listen what our communities say about the proposed upgrade, and to find out what the key issues are.”
“It’s really exciting to imagine what could possibly be achieved, but if anything is to come of it, it’s vital that it’s done in a careful and considered way,” he said.
If you wish to be part of the consultation please contact Deloitte Access Economics on (03) 9667 5040 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest. Opportunities will also be communicated through the usual council channels.
“The consultation is an important opportunity to listen what our communities say about the proposed upgrade, and to find out what the key issues are,” said Huon Valley Council Acting Mayor Sally Doyle. “Councillors will consider the results of the consultation together with all aspects of the potential upgrade which will be covered in the feasibility study, such as construction costs and routes, and impacts on adjoining landowners.
“Access to Jefferys Track involves travelling through Crabtree, which has many residential and farming properties. Increased traffic is a concern that will be addressed in the study and will be an important consideration for both Councils.
“We thank the Tasmanian Government for funding the study and providing us with the opportunity to thoroughly investigate potential options for track.”
At this stage, no decisions have been made about the future of Jefferys Track. If the feasibility assessment is positive and both Councils agree to proceed with the upgrade, the next steps will involve more community consultation and the completion of a detailed route analysis and environmental studies.