The first Linkzone online chat between young Tasmanians and Minister for Community Development Nick McKim took place on 30 August 2010. The topic was sustainable transport, and the Minister answered questions and took suggestions on a wide range of issues, including passenger rail, bus travel around the state, rego fees and bike tracks.
For information on upcoming chats with the minister, and to make suggestions for things to chat about, check out the Chat with the Minister page.
Guest-528: Hi Mr McKim,
08 30 2010 17:13:42 pm
Guest-528: Guess you'll see this when you log on
08 30 2010 17:14:01 pm
Guest-528: I saw you at the leaders debate at the Tailrace Centre in March, you were great!
08 30 2010 17:15:31 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: Hi guys, how's things? @ 528....thanks for that, it was a great event. Any thoughts on sustainable transport?
08 30 2010 17:35:51 pm
Ed: there has been a lot of talk about sustainable fuels in private and public transport.. what realistic opportunities are there for tasmania?
08 30 2010 17:36:56 pm
Hayley: I don't actually have a car at present - but i'm at the stage where I work ful time and it'd be cheaper for me to get a car - and park on the domain. Paying 7.20 a day from Warrane to Hobart - so price is a concern for me
08 30 2010 17:37:02 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Hayley...price is a concern for me too, we certainly need to make PT more affordable, and more flexible. These are some of the things I'll be working on.
08 30 2010 17:39:16 pm
Hayley: Agree re: flexibility - I went for dinner in town the other night - was finished at 8pm - and the next bus was 9.25pm - ended up catching a cab.
08 30 2010 17:40:09 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Ed....real opportunities here I reckon. As Metro progressively upgrades its fleet I'll be discussing alt fuels with them.
08 30 2010 17:41:58 pm
S: Hey Nick, I have no concerns with the current transportation scheme... But I just wanted to say it really is quite brilliant of you to make yourself open to contact with us younger members of the public. Many people disregard us because we're younger but it is wonderful to see you do this. Keep up the good work!
08 30 2010 17:41:59 pm
Guest-528: Just what I was about to say!
08 30 2010 17:42:33 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ S...Thanks for that! its a real pleasure to be here. Cheers
08 30 2010 17:43:19 pm
Ed: thanks Nick, Light Rail has been discussed on both sides for the Hobart transport corridor ... what 'critical mass' does Hobart need to make this viable?
08 30 2010 17:44:20 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Hayley, yep, that'a a fair old gap. Metro is currently updating its network plan which I hope will go some way to addressing those kind of issues.
08 30 2010 17:45:27 pm
Will: Hi minister, I have read much about the "Met-Card" Scheme that Metro has considered implimenting. I have spent much time abroad and have noticed that the scheme works very well when run correctly. I'm interested to know how much this has been investigated. I live in the North of the State so am unsure whether it has been discussed in Hobart. Could you shed any light on the situation?
08 30 2010 17:47:18 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Ed again, we have allocated $350k into a feasibility study on light rail, and are putting together a Community Reference Panel to assist with terms of reference. We'll look at the issue of critical mass as part of that process.
08 30 2010 17:47:41 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Will...Metro runs a 'Green card' (nice name!), maybe that's what you're referring to? Gives $25 credit for $20 so a good deal there!
08 30 2010 17:49:26 pm
Will: Ah yes that's the one, I just wasn't sure how far the scheme had gone thanks.
08 30 2010 17:50:05 pm
Kat: HAHAHA. Nice name indeed.
08 30 2010 17:50:13 pm
Guest-528: I'm just sitting in tonight, seeing how it all works, I'm 14 so transport isn't really an issue for
08 30 2010 17:51:06 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Will, no worries, get in there and sign on!
08 30 2010 17:51:22 pm
David: The busses to and from Mt Nelson on Sundays are terrible, as are the ones to and from South Hobart (I think there are only 4) Yet the ones to Lenah Valley are so regular. I really hope they become more even Good to hear they might be worked upon.
08 30 2010 17:51:29 pm
Guest-528: me at the moment, but nxt moths climate discussion definately is!
08 30 2010 17:51:39 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: Thanks Kat, the name was decided before I became Minister but no plans to change it!
08 30 2010 17:52:04 pm
Guest-528: My sister says buses should be free
08 30 2010 17:52:18 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ David... thanks for that, I will pass on your feedback to Metro for consideration as they work on the new network plan.
08 30 2010 17:53:36 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @528... look forward to chatting next month on climate change and alt energy.
08 30 2010 17:54:16 pm
Ed: does tasmaina have a urban sprawl plan like Melbourne's future plan?
08 30 2010 17:54:18 pm
Guest-528: My mum and little brother often use the free tiger bus, it's pretty good!! And yes, so am I! Climate Change interests me and I'm always doing my bit to help, kind of!
08 30 2010 17:55:36 pm
Guest-528: Anyway, back to sustainable transport...
08 30 2010 17:55:59 pm
Guest-967: I would love to have trains.
08 30 2010 17:56:19 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Ed, probs one for the Planning Minister, but if we can get a rapid transit solution for Hobart's northern suburbs I reckon it Will help with urban sprawl too.
08 30 2010 17:56:19 pm
Hayley: So what's the process with the network plan, can anyone have a say in that or how does it work?
08 30 2010 17:56:44 pm
Guest-528: Yeah, trains would be great! Or trams, but that would be a bit tricky
08 30 2010 17:56:54 pm
Guest-967: It takes too long via bus to get from glenorchy to the city when there is a perfectly good rail corridor there and it would halve the time to get places!
08 30 2010 17:57:06 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ 967 I love trains too. Light rail to Northern suburbs would be a great start!
08 30 2010 17:57:14 pm
James: Buses would still be efficient, for example: Bus routes ending at the glenorchy mall could make a stop at the glenorchy train stop and take a train to the city in under 10 mins instead of taking another bus through the main road which takes 50 mins..
08 30 2010 17:58:13 pm
James: Trams would clutter our roads, they are already cluttered enough!
08 30 2010 17:58:38 pm
Rachel: I agree! We should make more use of the railroad there... Start of with a couple of trips and then make it become a regular part of Hobart. I also think it does great things to a city's allure. That's why I love Melbourne - the trains and trams are bliss!
08 30 2010 17:58:48 pm
Sandi: Hi Nick. Wondering if you could just get the buses to run on time. I mean, *strictly* on time...and not let drivers pass people who are obviously waiting at the stop just because they can't be bothered or whatever (which happens!). Sounds a bit fasciat or whatever, but I think having buses that are precisely on time would be hugely beneficial encouraging people to use PT & not that hard to achieve if enough incentives/penalties for drivers & proper monitoring. Do you agree?
08 30 2010 17:58:56 pm
Mick: Hi Minister, In relation to the feasibility study you mentioned earlier, would the opportunity of a rail transport system between the major cities (Hobart,Launceston and Devonport), of which the infrastructure is already partially in place, be considered? I must say it's great to hear that such a study has been put in place though.
08 30 2010 17:58:59 pm
James: Agreed with rachel
08 30 2010 17:59:01 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ James, that could well be feasible. I'll pass on all feedback on routes, timetables etc to Metro.
08 30 2010 17:59:26 pm
Guest-528: Ok, was just a though...
08 30 2010 17:59:27 pm
Sandi: Also I would like to see a Sandy Bay bike track, as long as done properly/safe etc.!
08 30 2010 18:00:12 pm
James: I would spend some money for the future in rail if we were to build it. For example, work with centro in cat and fiddle and dig under the city. Make an underground station under cat and fiddle that connects to the northern rail line!
08 30 2010 18:00:38 pm
Ed: what policies could be put in place to make more people want to use public transport?
08 30 2010 18:00:41 pm
Will: Minister, there was an interesting topic discussed at the Tasmanian Transport Youth Forum that I'm not sure was explored enough. In adelaide they run what is called a "Bus-Link" passage. Essentially all the buses have small wheels attatched to the side which lets them run on the road, but also on this "Bus-link" which appears as a rail-track. This mixes the best of light rail with the accessability and flexability of buses. This would greatly decrease the travel time from the Northern Suburbs to the City with buses travelling along the link. This may be an alternative to a full light-rail system In hobart. What do you think?
08 30 2010 18:00:48 pm
Mick: I think Sandy Bay has recieved plenty of development
08 30 2010 18:00:50 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Sandi...buses on time would be great, but there are obviously things like road safety and unforseen circumstances that need to be factored in. I am currently looking at things like extra bus lanes to help buses run more efficiently. Happy to pass on any specific complaints about drivers not stopping to Metro.
08 30 2010 18:01:39 pm
Rachel: Guys, give him time to breathe, he obviously wants to address everyone's queries. Give him a chance to.
08 30 2010 18:02:03 pm
Guest-528: Extra bus lanes is a great idea
08 30 2010 18:02:18 pm
James: Will, would it be worth upgrading the buses to fit on the bus link? I would rather invest in rail and have something that the future can improve on. Because hobarts expanding!
08 30 2010 18:02:33 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @Mick, that's not in the current study, but I'm a big fan of fast trains and the Greens have been calling for a national network for some time.
08 30 2010 18:02:33 pm
Sandi: Thanks. It's okay if the problem is genuine - but often there Will be a delay & then no apology or explanantion to passengers. Passengers should be informed if there is a legit reason for the delay, or they just feel disrespected.
08 30 2010 18:02:56 pm
James: Mr McKim, please get some sort of passenger rail system before i move out of the state! My family has decided to move to melbourne because of the lack of development and i would love to prove them wrong!
08 30 2010 18:03:35 pm
Sandi: I mean, we passengers want to feel that they would take a delay v.seriously, as though it is an important matter...too often seems to be just the norm.
08 30 2010 18:03:59 pm
Will: James, This bus link works exactly like a rail system in adelaide and can be continually expanded. Plus attaching the wheels is considerably more economical than locomotives. This way it could work in with the existing infrastructure
08 30 2010 18:04:47 pm
James: Sandi thats true, i had to catch public transport to my exams a few months back and no bus showed up at the time i needed most, ended up paying $30 for a taxi
08 30 2010 18:04:55 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Ed....I've got a few ideas which I will be exploring over the upcoming months, I'm here to hear your ideas too!
08 30 2010 18:05:01 pm
hails: could we possibly have wifi in the hobart bus mall, somehow?
08 30 2010 18:05:55 pm
Guest-587: hi nick an idea about buses is that there need to be bus shelters in the right places, and when bus routes change, because people won't really want to wait for a bus in the cold when they could take a car
08 30 2010 18:06:02 pm
Sandi: I hear ya James! Sometimes the taxi doesn't turn up either, and then ...aughg. Even taxis in Hobart are not that reliable. Sometimes they go to another fare on the way to picking you up (although that's only happened to me a few times!)
08 30 2010 18:06:14 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Will....could be a goer, we'll have to wait for the study for confirmation. As you probably know i opened the TYF day, and I'm really looking forward to receiving all the great ideas Im sure came out of it.
08 30 2010 18:06:21 pm
Sarah: I'm surprised to see no idiots highjack this conversation and start swearing and abusing everyone. Gives me hope that people are feeling serious about all this
08 30 2010 18:07:23 pm
James: Will, I know it works like that but i think those two forms of transport should be separate. Buses are great for picking up passengers outside their doorstep and delivering them to the train station, the trains are great because they dont have any obstructions and are first priority on the tracks and roads. Its best to keep buses on roads (what they are designed for) and keep trains on tracks ;) I wouldnt want a bus breaking down on the o-bahn/train link. That would hold things up even more!
08 30 2010 18:07:30 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Sandi...Go the Sandy Bay bike track! I went on the critical mass bike ride in support of it on Friday last week. Was a great ride but a bit on the chilly side though!
08 30 2010 18:08:06 pm
Ed: I would like to know exactly how long i would have to wait for a bus (or possibly train). could new bus stops include a 'next bus will be ... minutes" display?
08 30 2010 18:09:30 pm
Jake: I so agree, Sarah.
08 30 2010 18:09:37 pm
Michael P: Hey Nick, I was at the TYF day also and one thing that came up there which I think would be really benificial is addressing drink driving by providing new drivers with a Breathaliser when they recieve their P-plates. I think that would be really helpful for Tasmanian youth as it is not always clear when you can begin driving again after having a few drinks with many people being caught the day after even though they believed they were below the legal limit.
08 30 2010 18:09:38 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ hails, great idea. We're looking at a couple of wifi options at the moment.
08 30 2010 18:09:40 pm
Mick: @James: Exactly! And by adding rail we reduce the number of large/heavy vehicles on our roads.
08 30 2010 18:09:50 pm
James: @Mick, exactly mate!
08 30 2010 18:10:21 pm
Will: Thanks Nick, I don't think it was put forward as an idea for the TYF, but it would be good if you could keep it as in idea, perhaps a look at the system in adelaide could be included in the study. James, The buses on the bus-link have complete priority, as a train would, and have only the same chance of breaking down as a train I can see where you're coming from but from my time in adelaide it reduced the ride time to the western suburbs to less than half Just may be worth considering as an alternative to light rail
08 30 2010 18:10:23 pm
James: @Ed, that would be fantastic to have live displays on when the next bus is coming and/or what delays there are
08 30 2010 18:10:45 pm
Michael P: Also @Mick and @James I think industrial rail to reduce trucks and large vehicles is a great idea but I do not think Tasmania is yet up to the size (both geographically and population wise) to have the need for passenger rail.
08 30 2010 18:11:32 pm
James: @Will, i agree with you there on certain points but ill leave that for our ministers to decide!
08 30 2010 18:11:45 pm
Sandi: I hope it will happen!!! (Sandy bay bike track)... Agree that bus shelters is an issue...not enough of them, does put you off getting a bus... sometimes umbrella doesn't cut it!
08 30 2010 18:11:56 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @Ed, that's something I'd love to see. Looking forward to seeing how it's working in other places.
08 30 2010 18:12:01 pm
Will: @james, I agree, that's what they're there for
08 30 2010 18:12:18 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Michael P.....not sure about the technical feasibility, I'll have to take that one on notice!
08 30 2010 18:12:54 pm
Guest-37: I'm interested to know whether widening of the walking/cycling of the tasman bridge is going to happen? I know they are doing some work on the off-ramps but what we really need is some room to move. At the moment what we have is incredibly unsafe for everyone, pedestrians and cyclists. Em
08 30 2010 18:13:25 pm
Guest-265: I would just appreciate a transport system that doesnt take me an hour and a half to gget to town from Brighton and longer service...last bus later than 7pm!!
08 30 2010 18:13:42 pm
James: @Michael P, i think Tassie is at a great time to start investing in Rail. Look at Melbourne and how they have been late in investing in passenger rail. Its too late, too old and its overcrowded. If tassie starts investing now and continues to improve, it would help us with population growth and make hobart a more livable city!
08 30 2010 18:14:27 pm
Michael P: I would like other Ministers to take a leaf out of your book Nick and have similar online forums to this. Cudos.
08 30 2010 18:14:46 pm
Guest-528: What if there were a few large (and free) car parks situated around the city (this is Launceston btw) and lots of buses like the free tiger bus do loops right around the city and stop at all the major places around town 4 or 5 times a day? Just a thought, I'm not very clued in on this subject, I was just hoping to pick up some knowledge by checking out this discussion... knowing me something like that's already happening!!
08 30 2010 18:14:48 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: Guys, great discussion on light rail and bus options. I'm reading closely and will consider all that you're discussing as we work on the study.
08 30 2010 18:15:03 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Michael P...thanks mate, much appreciated. I'll suggest it to my Cabinet colleagues next week.
08 30 2010 18:15:49 pm
Guest-528: 2 or so buses running late at night for those who don't have cars and who are out partying would be good, saves them walking home in the dark or paying mega bucks for a taxi
08 30 2010 18:17:32 pm
Will: @Guest-528, The largest car park that the tiger bus stops at is Inveresk. The tiger bus network is great however up until now this remains the only large stop at a carpark. I agree that people in other suburbs to Inveresk and East Launceston would benefit from the service and it would be a good think for the Minister to look into
08 30 2010 18:17:44 pm
James: 528, late night bus services run during the summer dont they? They did last summer! It was fantastic!
08 30 2010 18:18:21 pm
Guest-265: We need a night rider bus for the Northern Suburbs and Brighton!! Also an express bus from and to brighton...90 minute trips are ridiculous!
08 30 2010 18:18:26 pm
Michael P: I think that one of the top priorities with transport should be reducing carbon emmissions. I would love to see more environmentally friendly buses around the state as well as possibly some form of benifit/incentive for people to buy their own environmentally vehicles such as electric or hydrogen fuel celled cars.
08 30 2010 18:18:49 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ 528 and Will...we're investing $750k per year for four years into more park and ride, first one off the block a few weeks ago was Kingston, more to come. Watch this space!
08 30 2010 18:19:08 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ 265, thanks for that, I'll pass on to Metro for consideration as they update their network plan.
08 30 2010 18:20:06 pm
Will: @Nick, the Park and Ride is a great service, the Ministry is doing a great job on that front but I agree some more work is needed, in Launceston as well as Hobart
08 30 2010 18:20:16 pm
James: Im off, my last words are PASSENGER RAIL! C'mon tassie
08 30 2010 18:20:39 pm
Dane: When do you think Lara will be tabling another Euthenasia bill and do you think she'll water it down more than yours?
08 30 2010 18:20:44 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Michael P. couldn't agree more...fits with Greens policy.
08 30 2010 18:21:02 pm
Guest-265: Thanks Nick....this is a great idea...of course it would be a "green" idea xx
08 30 2010 18:21:06 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ james, thanks for being a part of this. message received!
08 30 2010 18:21:28 pm
Michael P: @Dane the topic this month is 'sustainable transport' Euthenasia might be one to keep for another month
08 30 2010 18:21:32 pm
Dane: Ahh ok sorry
08 30 2010 18:21:42 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Dane, these things are yet to be resolved but I'm working closely with Lara on the issue.
08 30 2010 18:22:08 pm
hails: nick, was wondering where to from here - with the metro reviews that are happening - for those who couldnt get to things like tyf - is there a way to have a say other than today..;
08 30 2010 18:22:58 pm
Guest-37: Oh and a light rail network for inner suburbs and more express buses - it shouldn't take me an hour to get in when I live only 12klms away. Where is the incentive? It takes me a bit over an hour to cycle in.
08 30 2010 18:23:08 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Will, park and ride will be rolled out right around the state where demand is highest.
08 30 2010 18:23:23 pm
Dane: Well perhaps I'll try on topic : Can we please consider encouraging more motorbike and scooter transport by reducing the registration costs please? Currently I drive a V6 Mazda and a 150cc little scooter and they cost the same to register.
08 30 2010 18:23:23 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: Thanks Michael P! happy to answer one off topic question but that's all!
08 30 2010 18:23:40 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ hails (and everyone), you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
08 30 2010 18:24:37 pm
Michael P: @ Dane, very much like the idea! Especially as these bikes are much more climate friendly and should be encouraged.
08 30 2010 18:24:44 pm
Guest-528: hehe we should all start driving vespa's!!
08 30 2010 18:25:44 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Dane and Michael P....Greens took to the state election a policy of reduced rego fees for smaller and more energy efficient vehicles. We'll keep working to gain support for it.
08 30 2010 18:26:21 pm
Dane: It works in so many other nations, from Italy to Thailand there are so many scooter riders. The environmental impact is much less as well as the amount of road damage.
08 30 2010 18:26:47 pm
Guest-528: Wow! We really should then!
08 30 2010 18:27:04 pm
Will: @Dane and Nick, the Motor Bike idea is great, I have a passion in that area and would love to see more people riding Bikes and Scooters. Perhaps if we're encouraging this some sort of investment in motorcycle awareness because from what I've seen it's not riders that cause the accidents, it's the drivers who aren't educated, could this be considered?
08 30 2010 18:27:31 pm
Dane: Sounds good Will, I also believe it's a critical mass issue. If people are used to having bikes and scooters around them all the time then they'll be more aware of the size and space of the vehicles which seems to me to be the biggest perception problem.
08 30 2010 18:29:04 pm
Roman: A train from Launceston, going from island to island until it reaches Melbourne!
08 30 2010 18:29:18 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: @ Roman....can you lend me some money for that?
08 30 2010 18:30:21 pm
Michael P: Yeah whilst we are at it teleportation in Tasmania would be lovely
08 30 2010 18:30:59 pm
Roman: Ok, I have about $7 on me
08 30 2010 18:31:14 pm
Will: @Dane yeah I agree, the Ministry would need to consider safety as we go forward. Either way I hope an increase in Motor Cyclists and Scooter Riders can be achieved safely as it would be great for the state, and it's green image
08 30 2010 18:31:26 pm
Guest-528: My little brother (who is 6) says that the free tiger bus is great, he loves to use it! He says that the bus is a good way for people to get around without using all the petrol from their cars!
08 30 2010 18:31:51 pm
Dane: @ Nick McKim - Congrats on doing this and your team too. Happy to plug it every week, I think it's great.
08 30 2010 18:31:57 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: Hey guys, got to sign off now. Thanks for chatting, I've had a great time and got some great ideas. I hope to see you all here next month...topic: Climate Change and Alternative Energy. Tell all your friends. Cheers.
08 30 2010 18:32:37 pm
Guest-528: @ Nick, i would lend the money if i could... i have about $700 copyright money in the bank... but i'm saving that for acting school!
08 30 2010 18:32:42 pm
hails: hear hear - its a great step in the right direction - and a way for those who cant get to forums to get involved - be great to see other minister's jump on board too.
08 30 2010 18:32:44 pm
Guest-528: Its been great, thanks Nick! From 528 and family!
08 30 2010 18:33:06 pm
The Pook: hmm got here too late
08 30 2010 18:33:13 pm
Michael P: Looking forward to Climate change very much! any idea what date that will be?
08 30 2010 18:33:14 pm
Guest-178: Can we upgrade our rail to mainland gauge, ours was designed in the 1800's. We could start our light rail effort with some of Melbourne's old W class trams
08 30 2010 18:33:44 pm
The Pook: Turn the railway line to Scottsdale into a bike track/walking track
08 30 2010 18:34:21 pm
The Pook: Or give us back our trains, even better
08 30 2010 18:34:31 pm
Roman: trains.. to melbourne and hobart!
08 30 2010 18:34:47 pm
The Pook: who wants to go to Hobart?
08 30 2010 18:35:00 pm
Guest-528: See you next month!
08 30 2010 18:35:02 pm
Minister for Community Development Nick McKim: Next event probably Sept 27th, but check this site for confirmation.
08 30 2010 18:35:20 pm
Michael P: Sounds good Nick. The Australian Youth Climate Coalition shall be joining in
08 30 2010 18:35:53 pm
Guest-528: Great, looking foward to it!!
08 30 2010 18:35:54 pm
Will: @ Nick, this is a brilliant Idea. Thank you to the Ministry for their efforts in engaging Tasmania's Youth
08 30 2010 18:36:16 pm
Guest-528: Had fun tonight guys, better go now, thanks to all! Hope to see you all nxt month, hopefully my opinion will be a bit more interesting then xxx
08 30 2010 18:38:40 pm
Jake: Thanks, Nick! You have been wonderful.
08 30 2010 18:55:03 pm