Salmon escapees lure Tasmanian fishers out for Christmas catch but not all are joyful at farm mishap


It is a fair bet salmon will be on many Tasmanian tables this Christmas, with anglers having taken to the water to catch fish that escaped during an aquaculture farm mishap.

News of the mass breakout of about 50,000 Atlantic salmon spread like wildfire after Huon Aquaculture reported a fire melted part of an enclosure near Bruny Island on Monday.

While the latest escape has the angling community rejoicing, others say the penetration of an introduced species into an environment is unwelcome — to the point where industrial fish farmers should face fines.

Christine Materia, of the community group Neighbours of Fish Farming, said she was “majorly concerned with the escape”.

“There are ecological considerations, environmental considerations … the [concern of] escaped fish competing for food with other species,” she said.

“There is also the worry these introduced species will establishing populations in the wild.”

The escape was caused by a fire at a Huon Aquaculture pen, in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.(Supplied: Huon Aquaculture)

Dr Materia said recreational fishers should be remunerated for “catching these pest species” and eradicating them from the environment, and salmon producers should shoulder the responsibility for the escape, including fines.

“There should be an end to bag limits so that these fish can be removed as soon as possible,” she said.

Two women fishing from a jetty.
One angler said her local jetty needed “traffic lights” due to the boat activity.(ABC News: Annah Fromberg)

Dr Materia said any debris from damaged fish enclosures must also be retrieved as soon as possible.

“Huon must clean up the damage and make sure the debris does not become a navigation hazard for vessels operating in these waters,” she said.

Jeremy Lyle, an associate professor at Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, said while data had shown the environmental impact was “not that significant” from escapes such as what happened on Monday, the infiltration of exotic species was problematic.

“Any event like this is of some concern,” he said.

“Keeping introduced animals contained is more desirable.”

Christine Materia smiles at the camera.
Christine Materia says the salmon farming company should be fined for the incident.(ABC News: Mitchell Woolnough)

Professor Lyle acknowledged the fish farm’s misfortune was to the benefit of human and animal predators.

“Sharks, dolphins and seals will be feasting … it is certainly a windfall for many recreational fishers,” he said.

He urged those who had managed to catch any of the escaped salmon to examine the stomach contents and report their findings to IMAS for research purposes.

Charlene Kelner was one of a number of people with lines in the water at the Gordon boat ramp, and more were taking to the water in boats.

The ramp “needs traffic lights it’s so busy”, she said.

A woman holds a fishing rod and smiles at the camera
Charlene Kelner was one of many out to catch an Atlantic salmon.(ABC News: Annah Fromberg)

David Sullivan said his group “got two good-sized ones”.

“There was a mob before us, they got a few,” he said.

And tips for fellow fishos keen for a feed of salmon? “Silver lures,” he said.

Greg O’Keefe extended his appreciation to the salmon producers, saying “we don’t mind it if they drop them now and again”.

Rebecca said she took nets out with her father Geoffrey and caught “plenty”, just “100 yards in front of the house”.

She said they had not seen this much activity “since the last time” fish escaped the pens.

Geoffrey agreed:

Hobart fishmongers are selling whole salmon for about $26 a kilogram, so a four kilogram catch is worth about $100.

Greg O'Keefe with fish in back of a ute.
Greg O’Keefe agreed there was a silver lining to the fish farm’s mishap.(ABC News: Annah Fromberg)

Fishmonger Wilson Mure has some cooking tips for those lucky enough to catch an escaped salmon.

“Score the fish down the side so you get to cook the inside a bit more and then [put] a bit of stuffing with garlic or ginger or lemon, maybe a bit of rice, into the centre,” he said.

“Keep it simple,” he added.

And he recommended eating the fish as soon as possible.

A man smiles behind the counter of a seafood store. A fish is on display in front of him
Fishmonger Wilson Mure shows a salmon about the size of those that escaped from the Huon Aquaculture pen.(ABC News: Peter Curtis)



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Pandemic, lower rents lure London’s tenants to countryside


Now that remote work is the norm, many young London renters are rethinking where they want to live. 

A growing number of people under 40 are leaving London and other major British cities for larger homes, lower rents, and a slower pace of life. And, as they relocate, they are bringing little pieces of the metropolitan life with them.

Zoe Artingstall, a teacher-turned-artist, is one example. She and her partner moved from London to Margate, an old seaside resort town, where they enjoy a spacious apartment and a view of the beach, all for less than what they paid for a two-room flat in London.

“You start thinking about clean air, healthier skin, and to not be up at 6 a.m. every day, rushing to get to work for 8:30 a.m.,” she says.

The influx of newcomers is changing these towns’ characters. Margate, for instance, saw an 84% increase in creative businesses last year. But many locals are also wary of the long-term consequences, as Matt Mapleston, who opened workspace for local freelancers in Margate, points out.

“It’s a well-worn road when creatives find a new area. They start making it a different place to live and then others follow to live in the place made more desirable,” he says.

Margate, England

Zoe Artingstall wakes up to the sound of the sea and a view of luscious golden sand. Police sirens and garbage collectors at the crack of dawn no longer disturb a good night’s sleep ever since she swapped London for Margate, a coastal town to the southeast, just weeks before Britain reintroduced new coronavirus restrictions.

“When you’re in London you don’t realize the physical buildup of tension and the frenetic pace of life weighing on you. It’s only when you leave that you realize the toll London life has on your body,” says Ms. Artingstall.

A growing thirst for quality of life, traditionally associated with retirees rather than 20- and 30-somethings, and reassessing life in lockdown accelerated her decision.

“My partner and I are in our early to mid-30s now, and you start thinking about clean air, healthier skin, and to not be up at 6 a.m. every day, rushing to get to work for 8:30 a.m.”

The teacher-turned-artist is among a growing number of people under 40 leaving the metropolis of London, and other major British cities, for a slower pace of life. Dissatisfied with the squalid conditions and sky-high rents, they are taking advantage of being unshackled from the geographical requirements of their jobs by the pandemic to establish themselves in places better known for being suburbs, countryside, or old resort towns like Margate. And they are changing the character of their new homes, bringing little pieces of the metropolitan life with them.

Tamsin George left London spontaneously for Malton, near the Northern city of York, as the United Kingdom introduced a national blanket lockdown in late March. Unemployed and exhausted, Ms. George says the country air keeps her “alive” without the “frenetic chaos” of attending London events.

“Lots of young people in London don’t want to be there but feel like they should. They see salaries and the opportunities you have; these are the things that keep people there,” she says. “But you realize when these things are on pause that it’s not worth the money. People have taken lockdown as the push they needed to leave and lay out their priorities in life.”

A longer term exodus

Renters increasingly look to York, Bristol, and the Home Counties, a southern region with greenery and poorer transport links. Those home-hunting in the capital now look to suburban, fringe areas. According to Rightmove, the U.K.’s biggest property search engine, Chessington, a sleepy suburban town with infrequent trains, is the capital’s new rental hotspot, trumping hip inner-London districts such as Shoreditch and Lewisham, where young professionals in their 20s and 30s typically gravitate after university.

Ms. Artingstall and her partner had been paying just under £1,400 ($1,860) per month for two London rooms in shared accommodation. Now they have a whole apartment with two studios used for artistic work, replete with a view of Margate beach, for just under the same sum.

Zoe Artingstall sits in her new apartment in Margate. The teacher-turned-artist and her partner left London during the lockdown in search of lower rent and a better quality of life.

Living in London’s typically congested areas is exactly what Laurie McAllister did after graduating from university. Disenchanted by work (“slogging my guts out, what’s the point?” as she puts it) and events centered around alcohol and fed up with “booking with friends months in advance just to see them” pushed her to live in Norwich, East England, in her early 20s.

And she wasn’t alone. “Where I moved to East Anglia, there already were young people. It’s a myth that all the young people are in London. Lots never moved, or many moved for university and returned to live – if not in the countryside, in smaller cities.”

Ms. McAllister now runs online motivational courses, yoga lessons, and a blog inspired by her sobriety after leaving London in 2017. Moving to Norwich allowed her to pay the bills and be a freelance yoga instructor, a path “unviable” in London.

“The idea that all the good jobs are in London and the only way to be successful is in London is dated. We’re now all realizing that with Zoom and other technology,” she says.

Employment opportunities attract young renters to Cambridge. With average monthly rents of £1,319 – that’s £681 cheaper than London – software engineers between 18 and 40 years old in particular have moved to be near AstraZeneca and Microsoft offices. Sarah Bush, head of lettings at Cambridge-based property agent Cheffins, has noticed a shift in the past six months, with renters “seeing space is important, gearing themselves up to work from home.”

“The younger generation still want to be near to work. If they’ve got to go into the office, there’s a reluctance to go into public transport and Cambridge is walkable,” she says.

Londoners reshaping coastal communities

The growing influx of ex-Londoners has been so large in the past decade that locals give them a specific name.

“They call us DFLs, or ‘down from London,’” says Matt Mapleston. Inspired by London’s tech scene, he’s opened a workspace for local freelancers inside a converted warehouse since moving to Margate in 2017. It’s part of a tradition of “London ideas” brought by DFLs since Margate’s Turner Contemporary art gallery opened by the seafront a decade ago, creating a thriving art scene in an area that older locals say used to be a no-go zone for outsiders.

The equivalent of three people per day relocate from London to Thanet, the area comprising Margate and Ramsgate. In 2017, some 1,830 Londoners relocated to Thanet, while 26,380 people overall moved from London to Kent, the county in which Thanet lies.

Living in Ramsgate since birth from London-born parents, 21-year-old illustrator Molly Pickles believes newcomers act as “investors” bringing “new ideas and huge benefits to locals.”

Ramsgate has quickly grown into a celebrated music and festival venue. Margate, dubbed “Shoreditch-by-Sea,” saw an 84% increase in creative businesses last year. Locals are swept along by the regeneration spirit aided by ex-Londoners, but are also wary of the long-term consequences of an area equally split between DFLs and longer-term locals.

“Gentrification is the biggest topic on local minds,” says Ms. Pickles. “The majority of people who’ve lived here since being a child can’t buy a property here.”

“The primary positives of gentrification here is that it becomes attractive to outsiders for investment,” says Filipe Gomes, a local radio presenter hoping to reach underrepresented voices in the area. “We have to ask ourselves, how inclusive is that? Galleries look great on the seafront, but the young lad that’s grown up here, how much does he feel a part of that?”

Ex-Londoners are well aware of the Catch-22 they bring. “It’s a well-worn road when creatives find a new area. They start making it a different place to live and then others follow to live in the place made more desirable,” says Mr. Mapleston.

But Lilla Allen, editor for local magazine Ramsgate Recorder and a self-described DFL, says that the newcomers do value the locals and are building bridges with them. “Community is overused but it does exist and it’s healthy here between different people, young and old,” she says. “Small towns feel the impact immediately of new ideas, and there’s real pride around town.”



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Lions rehab success a lure for Joe Daniher


Brisbane recruit Joe Daniher is out to follow in the footsteps of other Lions newcomers by turning around his injury-riddled AFL career.

Daniher arrives at the Gabba following his trade from Essendon, where he managed just 15 games in the past three seasons.

The 26-year-old says there were several reasons behind his decision to opt for the Lions but their track record in getting previously injury-riddled players consistently on the field was a key factor.

Lincoln McCarthy arrived in Brisbane having managed just 29 games in seven seasons at Geelong.

Since joining the Lions, McCarthy has played 41 matches in two years.

Veteran defender Grant Birchall also arrived at the Gabba in 2019 having played eight games across his final three seasons at Hawthorn.

The four-time premiership player played 16 matches in 2020 and Daniher revealed Birchall was among the people he spoke to while weighing up whether to move to Brisbane.

“They have a fantastic track record in that regard,” Daniher said.

“It doesn’t mean that it’s always going to continue that way, there’s certainly different challenges for different players.

“I’ve spoken to guys like Birch and other teammates who are fully supportive of the whole structure they’ve got at the Brisbane Lions at the moment.

“As a footballer all you want to do is go out and play, have a lot of fun and enjoyment playing. I’ve been starved of that in the last few years.

“From my point of view I’m really excited, can’t wait to get out there.”

Daniher’s arrival gives the Lions a trio of tall forwards along with Dan McStay and Eric Hipwood.

It’s a triumvirate that Daniher is eager to begin working as part of.

“I’m very excited to play alongside those guys,” he said.

“They’ve been a proven forward line for a number of years now, throw in Cam Rayner and Charlie Cameron, these sorts of guys, it’s a pretty exciting bunch.

“I’m excited to get in and work with those guys. Firstly earn their respect and secondly be able to support them on the field.”





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Rugby hoping to lure more Indigenous stars


Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan accepts RA must do more to unearth the next Indigenous Wallaby to follow in the famous footsteps of the Ella brothers and others like Kurtley Beale and Andrew Walker.

RA on Wednesday unveiled the 2020 First Nations jersey to be worn against New Zealand and Argentina in two games of the Tri Nations tournament starting next week.

Designed by Sydney artist Dennis Golding, the jersey pays tribute to each of the 14 Indigenous Australians who have played Test rugby.

Ironically – and alarmingly – the Wallabies side wearing the jumper to face the All Blacks in Sydney on October 31 won’t feature a single Indigenous player following Beale’s move to France.

“I think it shows that we’ve got to open more player pathways for Indigenous rugby players,” McLennan said when asked what it meant that the Wallabies were showcasing the jersey without Indigenous representation.

“But what it also says is that we’re very committed to an inclusive culture.

“We’re very proud of our Aboriginal and Indigenous heritage, and we’re going to promote it proudly.”

Gary Ella said rugby union trailed rugby league in the Indigenous ranks because it only turned professional in 1996.

“In the beginning, league was really dominant and if you have a look at the states outside of NSW and Queensland, AFL had a real strong base for a very long time,” Ella said.

“We’re gradually introducing the game to more Aboriginal communities around Australia (with the) Big Time (development program) getting players to be associated with sevens teams.

“But it’s also now we’re having a lot more players playing club rugby.

“We’ve had good success recently and having a lot more people going into Super, and there are now Aboriginal communities seeing that opportunity where they can play professional – and they’re looking for that opportunity.”

Fullback Dane Haylett-Petty said he hoped the Wallabies wearing the First Nations jersey would inspire a whole new generation of Indigenous youngsters to play rugby.

Haylett-Petty also wouldn’t rule out the Wallabies considering “taking a knee” in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

If they did, the Wallabies would be the first national sporting team from this country to do so.

“Sport has a lot of opportunity to join conversations and have a say and a lot of sports have done that,” he said.

“I can’t speak for everyone but it would be a great show of support. I think that would be a discussion to have as a group and we’d definitely consider it.”





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Bigger crowds in Victoria a lure for GWS Giants star Jeremy Cameron, says Brett Deledio


Deledio, who retired at the end of last season, does not believe Cameron left because he felt he would be a better chance of winning an AFL premiership at Geelong or that there are any issues with the culture at GWS.

But he told the ABC he felt Cameron and Zac Williams – another long-serving Giant who is moving to Carlton – were after “something different” and would get exactly that in footy-mad Victoria, even if it might be a while until AFL matches are played in front of packed grandstands.

“They were there when the Giants started, both Jezza and Zaccy, but they’re looking to play in front of different crowds, bigger crowds – it’s no secret the Giants just haven’t got the following yet,” Deledio said on the Corbin & Ben podcast.

“They’ve only been in the system for what, nine years? It’s growing, no doubt … but I think ultimately [they’re thinking], ‘I’ve given eight years, now I want to try something else’.

“People do that in the workforce everywhere but we don’t ever hear about it. Now all of a sudden we want this loyalty from players because they’ve become a little bit stale or they want to do something else and everyone is up in arms about it.”

Cameron told the Giants he wanted to leave to be closer to his family, who are based in western Victoria. Geelong holds appeal because it is in his home state but away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne.

Brett Deledio retired from AFL football at the end of last year.Credit:Scott Barbour

Despite many AFL pundits writing off the Giants’ chances of an AFL flag in the short term because of Cameron’s exit, Deledio was optimistic about the implications for their forward line – noting that Cameron, Harry Himmelberg and Jeremy Finlayson are similar types of key forwards, and that Jake Riccardi was showing promise as the “big wrestling bear in the square” they currently lack.

“Can Jake Riccardi become that? He’s shown he’s pretty good at catching it when it comes down his way and does the work … it still looks good there,” he said.

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Four-time Hawthorn premiership player Luke Hodge also believed there could be a silver lining for GWS, just like there was for the Hawks when Franklin left for Sydney.

“Were Hawthorn going to be a lesser team without Buddy? Everyone would have said ‘yes’, but it turned out that we were more unpredictable,” Hodge said on SEN Radio.

“You didn’t know whether we were going to [Jarryd] Roughead, to [David] Hale, to Cyril [Rioli], to Luke Breust. And that could be the same for GWS.

“If they get a couple [of experienced players] in this year because they have that extra cash, it just makes them more unpredictable.”

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Crows lure Scott Burns as AFL assistant


Adelaide have lured Scott Burns from AFL rivals Hawthorn to fill a role as a senior assistant coach.

Burns, who twice was overlooked for the Crows’ top coaching job, will join the South Australian club next year to work with head coach Matthew Nicks.

Burns has spent the past three seasons as an assistant to Hawks boss Alastair Clarkson and has also been an assistant at West Coast and Collingwood after a decorated 264-game playing career with the Magpies.

His Adelaide appointment comes a day after Nicks cleaned out his 2020 assistants – Ben Hart, Mick Godden and Brent Reilly.

“The Crows have talked about transitioning their list and we saw positive signs in the last few weeks of the season,” Burns said in a statement on Wednesday.

“I feel as though my skills and experience can help Nicksy and the other coaches, as well as the playing group, going forward.”

The Crows won just three games and finished last for the first time since their inception in 1991.





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Free airfares, accommodation to lure interstate workers to WA as home building booms


WA’s home building boom is pushing some construction companies to look interstate for workers and offer up huge incentives, including airfares and accommodation, to lure them.

Wormall Civil, an engineering construction company with infrastructure projects across Perth, is offering a suite of incentives to attract interstate workers — provided they can get approval to enter the state under COVID-19 restrictions.

Its online job ad spruiks return airfares to Perth, six months’ accommodation including utilities in “a modern fully furnished share house”, and the cost of two weeks in quarantine, among other benefits.

“Western Australia is COVID-19 free and enjoys the freedoms we are all used to,” the ad stated.

“If you’re looking for a sea change, meet the essential criteria and willing to abide by Government entry requirements.”

‘We are run off our feet’

Managing director Shane Wormall said he needed to recruit 20 to 30 workers.

“It has never been busier, we are run off our feet — as is the whole industry,” he said.

“We are extremely short-staffed presently.

“We have the resource sector here in WA that is drawing from the same pool of people as well, [and] a lot of big capital infrastructure projects.

HIA believes WA may be the only state to increase home building starts in the coming year.(ABC News: Graeme Powell)

“We’ve reached out now and tried to go out on a limb and advertised in the Northern Territory, in Queensland and in South Australia to try and get final trim machine operators here in Western Australia.

“We are looking for final trim operators, excavators, front end loaders and the likes.”

‘From historic low to historic high’

HIA executive director Cath Hart said the demand for skilled labour was a direct result of state and federal government home builder stimulus packages — $25,000 from the Federal Government and then another $20,000 from the West Australian Government.

She said new home sales data showed a 170 per cent increase in sales in the two months since the government incentives were announced, compared with the previous two months.

“When the grants were announced, the residential building industry in WA was at a 20-year low in activity, so we are effectively going from a historic low to a historic high pretty well overnight,” she said.

“So it doesn’t come as a complete surprise that we have some constraints around labour and land.”

Cath Hart smiling and standing in front of shrubs.
Cath Hart says new home sales data has skyrocketed since government incentives were announced.(ABC News: Rhiannon Shine)

Ms Hart said she hoped skilled workers who left WA after the mining boom might return to the state for work.

Worker shortage pushing wages up

“HIA’s latest forecast for residential building shows that WA will be the only state to increase home building starts in the coming year,” she said.

“And interestingly in detached housing, we are also seeing a return to pre-COVID levels of activity.”

Hays Recruiting state director Chris Kent said there was a labour shortage across mining and construction, with operator drivers in high demand.

He said it would be difficult to attract workers from interstate for short-term contracts.

“The challenge with some of this contract work is it is hard to lure families, particularly if they have to come over and isolate for two weeks for a casual position,” he said.

Chris Kent looks at the camera while sitting at a row of desks in a boardroom.
Chris Kent says some companies are putting wages up to attract workers.(ABC News: Elicia Kennedy)

“The solution is really to look to our displaced workforce and see if we can upskill them quickly and safely.”

He said some companies were pushing up wages in order to attract workers.

“It is definitely putting upward pressure on hourly rates for casual labour and casual operators,” he said.

“Really the only thing that can be done is more friendly rosters, higher wages and potentially bonuses for completion of contracts.

“Unfortunately, companies with a lesser brand will probably need to pay a little more than the big-name companies in order to attract staff.”



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Coronavirus impact on Adelaide CBD businesses prompts plan to lure more cars


While other cities in Australia and around the world are encouraging cycling during the coronavirus pandemic, Adelaide will host a so-called “driver’s month” to encourage cars to return to the CBD to boost trade.

The move, supported at last night’s Adelaide City Council meeting, will include incentives to park and drive through the CBD such as prizes for using the council’s parking meter app, a pre-Christmas marketing campaign and banners declaring “happy driver’s month”.

The motion put up by Councillor Jessy Khera and supported by a majority vote will allow cars to drive in dedicated bus lanes, under “pop-up congestion-easing measures”.

The initiative is planned for either October or November.

Cr Khera said the measures were “desperately needed now”, with fewer shoppers and diners coming into the city, hurting small businesses.

“This is not something that is anti-bike, it is not anti-bus — it sits alongside all those other modes of transport — but it is recognising that the absolute lifeblood of people patronising our city is via automobiles.”

The Frome Street bikeway runs north-south through the CBD.(Supplied: Adelaide City Council)

In recent years, efforts have been undertaken to reduce congestion by encouraging people to cycle to work or catch public transport.

But cyclist numbers on the Frome Street bikeway have been well down during the COVID-19 pandemic, as office staff choose to work from home, while recreational cycling has increased.

Several motions put up to encourage cycling, such as pop-up bikeways, have failed to gain support at the council during the pandemic.

‘Red carpet for gas-guzzlers’

Not all councillors were in favour of the plan.

Councillor and former Greens senator Robert Simms spoke against it, saying “every month in the City of Adelaide unfortunately is driver’s month”.

He said cities such as London, Paris, New York, Bogota, Berlin and Brisbane had installed or were going to install pop-up bikeways to encourage cycling while people were avoiding public transport.

Cr Khera said councillors who laughed at the idea of a driver’s month were “in a COVID cupboard”, saying the dining strip along Rundle Street now sometimes looks as empty as it would on Christmas Day.

“When you hear the belittling about something like this, let’s be very clear: the people who are being mocked, the people who are being belittled and laughed at are the ordinary decent folk out there who right now are facing a calamity of their livelihoods of unprecedented proportions,” he said.

Traffic on a city street
Adelaide traffic has picked back up as coronavirus restrictions have eased.(ABC News: David Frearson)

Bicycle Institute chairwoman Katie Gilfillan said the council’s problem was with not enough people, rather than not enough cars.

She said cyclists may boycott the city during driver’s month.

“They don’t want to go to a polluted, noisy, car-infested city because that’s not what a city is about — a city is about fun, festive people-orientated activities,” she said.

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She urged the council to hold several car-free days to see how trade compared to the driver’s month.

But Hutt Street Traders Association secretary Wayne Copley welcomed the initiative, saying it would be particularly good for families.

The council has already offered parking discounts at multi-storey carparks it owns in the city and has relaxed parking restriction enforcement.

In response to Cr Khera’s motion, council staff commented that allowing parking or driving in bus lanes may need approval from the State Government.

Plans for an east-west bikeway across the CBD have been stalled for years.



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