May 9, 2002
While the Bass Highway may still be undergoing wholesale changes, calls to commit to "fixing" the busiest thoroughfare in Tasmania were reaching fever pitch.
Shortly after the death of a 65-year-old Launceston woman near the Westbury-Hagley bypass, the state opposition and the RACT condemned a $36 million upgrade to the stretch of road.
The vehicle was hit when it was travelling in the wrong direction of the two-lane highway near the Woodside overpass.
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Then RACT chief executive Greg Goodman said the road rapidly needed improved signage.
"The signage near the section is a 18-inch by 18-inch sign with a fork which is meant to indicate to change from four-way divided highway to two-lane undivided highway," he said.
If nothing else, that mouthful was enough to describe the confusion road users faced when taking on the highway.
Speaking to people around Launceston The Examiner reporter Nick Clark, who is still an active part of the newsroom, received no mixed messages about the confusion they faced when travelling the road.
Beryl Clooney of Esperance in Western Australia said she had travelled all over Australia but could not work out which way she was supposed to be going to get into Westbury.
Her niece, Bernadette Mitchell, who lived in Westbury said, "it's an accident waiting to happen because it looks like it's a dual carriage way".
Meanwhile, slightly further north, the Bell Bay power station was about to be kicked back into gear because conditions had been so dry Hydro Tasmania were unable to run their water-based operation.
It was the third time in three years the station had to be powered up and it cost $100,000 a day to do so.
Lake levels were at their worst in 20 years at only 29 per cent full.
In sport, the Hawks were preparing for a game at York Park against the Power.
Hoping for a crowd of 18,000 ahead of the match, the Hawks pulled out all the stops.
To spruik the contest they headed out to Agfest with boom Launceston recruit Tim Hazell.
When they were at the agricultural event they sold $15,000 of merchandise.
The Agfest appearance worked, when the teams ran out two days later to a record crowd of 18,112.
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