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Tasmania's Largest Road Infrastructure Project Completed::

Tasmania’s largest ever road infrastructure project has been opened to traffic with the official opening of the $191 million Brighton Bypass today, months ahead of schedule.

Federal Minister for Community Services Julie Collins and Federal Labor Member for Lyons Dick Adams today joined Premier Lara Giddings and Minister for Infrastructure David O’Byrne to cut the ribbon on the completed project.

Ms Collins said that the early opening of the Brighton Bypass showed the Federal Labor government's commitment to delivering transport projects of national significance in Tasmania.

“Projects like the $50 million Kingston Bypass and the Brighton Bypass were hallmarks of our record Nation Building 1 investments that totalled over $800 million across Tasmania,” Ms Collins said.

“Under Labor, that Federal infrastructure spending in Tasmania nearly doubled from $157 to $264 per person during Nation Building 1.

“Tasmanians know that they will always get a better deal under a Federal Labor Government.

“It is great to see this significant commitment be realised and the benefits flowing to the Tasmanian community.”

Mr Adams said the Brighton Bypass would support Tasmanians to move around the state more safely and efficiently.

“Getting this major project completed ahead of schedule means that local residents across Tasmanian's largest electorate of Lyons will see the benefits even sooner,” Mr Adams said.

“I am proud of the ongoing commitment by Tasmanian Labor's state and federal members to our local community that has ensured this project's completion.

“Labor will continue to fight for the interests of all Tasmanians and I look forward to working with Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese and the State government to deliver the next stage of Tasmania's transport investment through Nation Building 2,” said Mr Adams.

Ms Giddings said that the Brighton Bypass is a shining example of the State and Federal Labor governments working together to build infrastructure that secures jobs and opportunities for Tasmanians.

“The Brighton Bypass is just one of a number of projects on the State Government’s strong infrastructure agenda which also includes the $104 million Midlands Water Scheme, the $586 million redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital, the $50 million rehabilitation of the Hobart railyards and the $90 million Community Roads Program,” Ms Giddings said.

“This project demonstrates our commitment to infrastructure that will secure jobs and opportunities for Tasmanians.  Even in these tough budget times we have ensured that our infrastructure spending exceeds pre GFC levels to keep people employed in the construction industry.

“The Brighton Bypass has been on the drawing board for decades and it has taken cooperation and a shared Labor commitment to Tasmania’s future to bring it to reality.”

Mr O’Byrne said that the bypass was a crucial piece of local infrastructure and a significant investment in the Tasmanian economy.

“This major project was delivered well ahead of schedule and has provided a significant economic stimulus to the Tasmanian construction industry," Mr O'Byrne said.

“More than 1800 workers have contributed to the bypass during the period of peak construction.

“The Brighton Bypass provided a significant injection into the Tasmanian economy and will now improve safety and cut travelling time on the Midland Highway for all Tasmanians.

“Contracting national partners Thiess and John Holland, local Tasmanian firms VEC Civil Engineering and Hazell Bros who undertook contract work and DIER deserve great credit for bringing this project in ahead of schedule, which means it will start protecting lives and easing congestion even earlier," he said.

The State Government recognises and respects the significance of the Jordan River levee and the importance of the site to the Aboriginal community.

An additional $15 million was spent to build a bridge over the Levee to ensure the site is protected for the future.

The bypass was opened to traffic following the official opening event.

13 November 2012