Former PM joins city transport talk

Published on 08 June 2021


Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be the guest speaker a panel discussion around the future of Hobart’s transport network at the next instalment of CityTalks.

Mr Turnbull was the architect of the City Deal framework and has been a strong advocate for public transport. He will be address next week’s online discussion forum, titled Hobart at a Crossroad: Can we be a small city with big transport choices?

Also speaking are UTas Sustainable Cities researcher Dr Lisa Stafford and New Zealand-based transport and land use integration specialist Darren Davis, who will draw from his own experiences in developing a mode shift program for Dunedin to tackle traffic congestion.

“Hobart has a storied history and great bones, and clearly MONA has put the city on the visitor map,” Mr Davis said. “But being on the map means growth, and growth means change.

“Growth, without changing the way we move, just means more traffic and more congestion. So making other ways of moving better is the way to go, so that walking, cycling or taking the bus is the natural thing to do, not the last thing you want to do." 

Closing remarks in the forum will be provided by UTas Vice-Chancellor Rufus Black.

Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds will moderate the forum, which she expects will produce an interesting and engaging discussion.

“Mr Turnbull was known as the ‘Public Transport Prime Minister’ and has always been a strong advocate of public transport,” Cr Reynolds said. “We’re also thrilled to have Darren Davis – who has extensive experience addressing challenges similar to those Hobart is experiencing.

“Hobart is growing quickly and I think everyone acknowledges that major investment in public transport is needed to create a more efficient and accessible city.

“Hobart is a small city with significant geographical constraints. We have a saturated road network and – despite being a capital city – currently lack some of the public transport options that other cities take for granted.

“But, as Hobart grows, so too do the opportunities to expand our transport choices and we have a tremendous opportunity to explore innovative, sustainable and inclusive transport options that will help shape Hobart’s future.”

The one-hour online forum will be held on Thursday 17 June at 5pm. Interested members of the public are invited to register to attend the interactive online forum via Zoom.

CityTalks is a partnership between the City of Hobart and the University of Tasmania.

The online forums focus on topics relevant to Hobart and feature community leaders, national and international keynote speakers followed by a panel discussion. Registered attendees also have the opportunity to submit questions to the speakers. Visit for details of the forum and to register.


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