Government funding for Beaconsfield Hart Shaft project announced | Photos, video

The Beaconsfield Hart Shaft will receive an extra $250,000 to ensure that the popular site will be reopened by the beginning of the peak tourist season in November.

A further $125,000 will be contributed by both state and federal governments on top of the $1.25 million that has already been committed to the project.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Jonathon Duniam said the funding comes from the Natural Disaster Assistance Relief Program, and will be used to help stabilise the shaft after the site was badly damaged in the June 2016 floods.

“This site is an incredibly important part of the local community, and a draw card for tourists, having drawn in over 44,000 visitors in the last 12 months alone,” he said.

Mayor Christina Holmdahl said the extra funding will allow the council to focus on capital works projects which had been on the books for two to three years.

She said the plan for remediating the shaft was currently on track.

“Within eight to nine weeks we are hoping that eight and a half thousand tonnes that has to go into the shaft will have gone in,” she said.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said it became evident early in the process that the initial $1.25 million quoted would not be sufficient to complete the project. He said an appeal to the Natural Disaster Assistance Relief Program was made to ensure “that the job can get done”.

“This is a very important site in respect to the West Tamar but also the North in regards to tourism,” he said. 

“Obviously our budget is in a very strong position at the moment and when it comes to matters like this, this state can react quite quickly.”

This is a very important site in respect to the West Tamar but also the North in regards to tourism.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein

General manager of the West Tamar Council Rolph Vos said the shaft has been filled to about the 90 metre level and he was confident the additional funds would be enough to see the project through.

“The estimates that were done for us by consultants tell us that the top cost of this will be $1.5 million, and now the federal and state government have given us this extra assistance which we are really grateful and confident we'll be able to remediate it for that price,” he said.

Mr Vos said the extra funding provided by the governments was a “commitment made to support local council”.