Roundabout ‘could close golf course’, club says
Tasmania Golf Club in Cambridge, north-east of Hobart, says it may be forced to close if a proposal to build a new roundabout over its 16th hole goes ahead.
And a neighbouring property owner is worried the development could threaten two rare species of orchids and native fauna at the site.
The State Government has released plans to build a new roundabout on the Tasman Highway to ease congestion between Hobart and Sorell.
The Hobart Airport to Midway Point Causeway proposes two locations, the first being on private bushland, believed to be home to a threatened species of orchid.
The second would see the roundabout built over the 16th hole, irrigation dam and practice tee at the Tasmania Golf Club (TGC).
TGC Committee member and long time golfer, Andrew Todd said the government’s plans would destroy the golf course and threaten the club’s future.
“Golf courses have 18 holes, not 17, without a golf course we’d be left high and dry,” he said.
“We certainly haven’t got the funds and there is no spare land left on the peninsula,” he said.
Mr Todd said the government’s formal notification of the plans came “out of the blue” last week and shocked committee members.
“Our members were in disbelief, they said “oh that’ll never happen” but it just did,” he said.
Mr Todd said the prospect of having to close the club was “very much a real thing” if plans to build on their land were to get the go ahead.
“I don’t know what we would do, we don’t have the land to redesign the course nor the funds,” he said.
“We’ll be talking to people to see if there are other options and whether the option that destroys our golf course can be taken off the table completely,” he said.
Tasmania Golf Club is the only club in the state that enables people living with disabilities to play golf.
“Golf is sometimes criticised as an elitist sport but our club is far from it – our membership is pretty much all working class… men, women, the elderly and the disabled,” he said.
“We’re sympathetic with people putting up with the traffic coming through but we shouldn’t have to wear the consequences,” he said.
Clarence City Council Mayor Doug Chipman said the council welcomed any improvements to the Tasman Highway that made the passage safer and less congested.
“The council has not yet had a chance to analyses the two options but both have their challenges,” he said.
“Both options will require council planning approval, so I look forward to giving considered comment during the feedback period.”
The proposed plans are open to public consultation until the end of the month and construction is slated to begin by 2020/21.
In a statement, the State Government said the roundabout was part of the South East Traffic Solution which aims to reduce commute times and ease congestion.
“These upgrades are designed to improve traffic flow and travel times for South-East commuters.”
“The realignment of the Tasman Highway at this location is a key part of delivering better traffic flows sooner.
“The Government does not have a preferred option.”
“Environmental surveys and other studies would be undertaken during the planning and development phases of the project.”
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